Biography •  History •  Military and Southwest

$24.95 paperback
978-0-8263-4804-3

Add to Cart

Come Up and Get Me: An Autobiography of Colonel Joe Kittinger


Joe Kittinger
Craig Ryan

Selected by Popular Mechanics as a Top Book of 2010

Silver Medal Winner for Autobiography / Memoir, ForeWord Reviews 2010 Book of the Year Awards

A few years after his release from a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp in 1973, Colonel Joseph Kittinger retired from the Air Force. Restless and unchallenged, he turned to ballooning, a lifelong passion as well as a constant diversion for his imagination during his imprisonment. His primary goal was a solitary circumnavigation of the globe, and in its pursuit he set several ballooning distance records, including the first solo crossing of the Atlantic in 1984. But the aeronautical feats that first made him an American hero had occurred a quarter of a century earlier.

By the time Kittinger was shot down in Vietnam in 1972, his Air Force career was already legendary. He had made a name for himself at Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, New Mexico, as a test pilot who helped demonstrate that egress survival for pilots at high altitudes was possible in emergency situations. Ironically, Kittinger and his pre-astronaut colleagues would help propel Americans into space using the world's oldest flying machine-the balloon. Kittinger's work on Project Excelsior--which involved daring high-altitude bailout tests--earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross long before he earned a collection of medals in Vietnam. Despite the many accolades, Kittinger's proudest moment remains his free fall from 102,800 feet during which he achieved a speed of 614 miles per hour.

In this long-awaited autobiography, Kittinger joins author Craig Ryan to document an astonishing career.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

Craig Ryan is the author of Magnificent Failure: Free Fall from the Edge of Space and The Pre-Astronauts: Manned Ballooning on the Threshold of Space. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

ACCLAIM

"Kittinger writes that all he ever really wanted to do is fly; from this autobiography, it's clearly a privilege to be along as his passenger."

--

Popular Mechanics



"Several terms are apt descriptors of Come Up and Get Me--excellent autobiography, eye-opening history, well-written documentary, and compelling introduction to an aviation hero--but I believe the two best descriptions for this book are first-rate adventure story and absolute must read."

--

Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly




6 x 9 in. 272 pages 40 halftones