Race to Hawaii

Race to Hawaii
Race to Hawaii

Race to Hawaii

The 1927 Dole Air Derby and the Thrilling First Flights That Opened the Pacific
By Jason Ryan


320 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket, Trade Paper

Cloth, $26.99 (CA $35.99) (US $26.99)

ISBN 9780912777252

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Aug 2018)


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Pineapple baron James Dole's offer of a $25,000 prize for the first nonstop flight to Hawaii attracted Hollywood stunt pilots, WWI aviators, a Michigan schoolteacher, and others—but the race resulted in chaos
A thrilling account, Race to Hawaii chronicles the first flights to Hawaii in the 1920s, during the Golden Age of Aviation. These journeys were fraught with danger. To reach the tiny islands, fearless pilots flew unreliable and fragile aircraft outfitted with primitive air navigation equipment. The Dole Derby was an unprecedented 1927 air race in which eight planes set off at once across the Pacific, all eager to reach the islands first and claim a cash prize offered by "Pineapple King" James Dole. Military men, barnstormers, a schoolteacher, a Wall Street bond salesman, a Hollywood stunt flyer and veteran World War aces all encountered every type of hazard during their perilous flights. With so many pilots taking aim at the far-flung islands in so many different types of planes, everyone wondered who would reach Hawaii first, or at all.


"A page-turning account of ‘the precarious, pioneering flights to Hawaii’ during the late 1920s." Kirkus Reviews

“Sputtering engines, empty fuel tanks, failed radios, never-ending fog…lots went wrong when early aviators tried to steer the first planes across the Pacific....Jason Ryan thrillingly recounts each pitfall as he details American airmen’s ultimate triumph over the world’s mightiest ocean.” —WINSTON GROOM, author of The Aviators and Forrest Gump

Race to Hawaii takes you on a wild ride over 2,400 miles of storm-tossed skies to a tropical paradise. Painting a mural of America’s quest to reach Hawaii by air in lush, vivid colors, Jason Ryan breathes life into the death-defying pioneers of aviation’s golden age.” —JONATHAN W. JORDAN, author of Brothers, Rivals, Victors and American Warlords

“Beautifully captures the excitement, wonder, and tragedy of the pioneering age of aviation. Combining masterful research with his gift for storytelling, Jason Ryan has brought to life a thrilling story of adventure filled with an incredible cast of characters. This is, without a doubt, one of the best books I’ve read in ages. Race to Hawaii simply soars!” —JAMES M. SCOTT, 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Target Tokyo

“Jason Ryan’s expertly told Race to Hawaii tells the fascinating, thrilling, and sometimes tragic story of the first flights to Hawaii in the 1920s, and the fearless pilots who risked everything for a chance at fame and money.” —CATE LINEBERRY, author of Be Free or Die

“We all know Lucky Lindy conquered the Atlantic. But the Pacific was much wider and the goal just some distant specks of land. Learn who accomplished this impossible feat and how they did it in Jason Ryan’s Race to Hawaii.” —JAMES BRADLEY, author of Flags of Our Fathers and Flyboys

“The characters in this book are so colorful you think you’re reading fiction. . . . Ryan has uncovered a simply amazing tale.” —SKIP HOLLANDSWORTH, author of The Midnight Assassin

“This is a tremendous read and a meticulously researched historical account of American aviators who embodied the courage to fly into the unknown. Not to be missed.” —JOHN BRUNING, author of Indestructible: One Man’s Rescue Mission That Changed the Course of WWII

Author Biography

Jason Ryan is the author of Jackpot: High Time, High Seas, and the Sting That Launched the War on Drugs and Hell Bent: One Man’s Crusade to Crush the Hawaiian Mob. He is a contributing reporter to The State newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as The Daily Beast