" It was the pilots of the U.S. Air Mail service who made it possible for flight to evolve from an impractical and deadly fad to today's worldwide network of airlines. Nicknamed "The Suicide Club," this small but daring cadre of pilots took a fleet of flimsy World War I "Jenny" Biplanes and blazed a trail of sky routes across the country. In the midst of the Jazz Age, they were dashing, group-proud, brazen, and resentful of authority. They were also loyal, determined to prove the skeptics wrong. MAVERICKS OF THE SKY, by Barry Rosenburg and Catherine Macaulay, is a narrative non-fiction account of the crucial, first three years of the air mail service - beginning with the inaugural New York-to-Washington D.C. flight in 1918, through 1921 when aviator Jack Knight was the first to fly across the country at night and furthermore, through a blizzard. In those early years, one out of every four men lost their lives. With the constant threat of weather and mechanical failure and with little instrumentation available, aviators relied on their wits and instincts to keep them out of trouble. MAVERICKS OF THE SKY brings these sagas to life, and tells the story of the extraordinary lives and rivalries of those who single-handedly pulled off the great experiment.