In August 1929, competitors in the first women's air derby in East St. Louis, Illinois, gather around—among them, sixth from left, Louise Thaden, to her left, Amelia Earhart, and, second from right, Ruth Elder.

Audiobook Review| Fly Girls by Keith O’Brien

By Ryan Paul Winn
3/4/2019 • American History Magazine

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O’Brien
Read by Erin Bennet, with the recording produced by Highbridge Audio

Reviewed by Ryan Paul Winn

Keith O’Brien celebrates a quintet advocating “women’s suffrage of the sky,” explaining how Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols, Louise Thaden, Ruth Elder, and Florence Klingensmith made aviation history a decade after the Nineteenth Amendment lifted American women from second-class citizenship. Reader Erin Bennet levitates each quote, flight chronicle, and newspaper account that O’Brien delivers. Oscillating between inspiring and heartbreaking, Fly Girls soars.


Ryan Paul Winn is a columnist and media critic who’s rarely without an audiobook or his earbuds. When not writing or teaching in the Liberal Studies department at College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin, he can be found researching overlooked history in local and national archives.


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