Aircraft HijackingA Cultural History
192 pages, 14,0 x 22,2 cm
ISBN: 978-3-8353-0873-2 (März 2011)
Technical progress and risk – the ambivalence of the modern age.
In 1931, an aeroplane was hijacked for the first time: Peruvian rebels used the aircraft to throw pamphlets over the jungle and then returned it to the airline, PanAm. On 11 September 2001, members of Al Qaida flew two aeroplanes into the towers of the World Trade Center, staging the largest terrorist catastrophe of the 21st century. In between these two events, there were several series of very different aircraft hijackings. They took place against the background of the Cuban revolution, the Near East conflict, the »German Autumn«
(Mogadishu) and the Cold War. These hijackings were carried out by terrorists and rebels, illegal emigrants, kidnappers and psychopaths. They are one of the drawbacks of civil aviation and the price modern man is prepared to pay for the dream of freedom in the form of unrestricted mobility.
This book is about hijacking, but also about the numerous attempts to analyse its specific characteristics in novels, films, works of art and psychoanalytic theories. More than the events of the day, they provide us with evidence of the typical modern ambivalence that links (technical) progress with the production of new risks.
Annette Vowinckel, Assistant Lecturer at the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam and Outside Lecturer at the Institute of Cultural History at the HU Berlin. Research on cultural and media history in the Renaissance and the 20th century.
Publications in this series
Moralpolitik. Geschichte der Menschenrechte im 20. Century (Moral Politics. The History of Human Rights in the 20th Century), edited by Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann (2010).