5-stars - Amazon.com5-stars - Air Classics magazine
5-stars - Barnes and Noble5-stars - Over the Front magazine5-stars - Aerodrome magazine5-stars - Windsock Worldwide magazine5-stars - TheAerodrome.com
"The standard by which all other books on Luke's life will be judged"
Stephen Skinner has written what will become the book on the Arizona Balloon Buster, Frank Luke, Jr.
Lavishly illustrated with photographs and never before published information, Skinner presents the first detailed biography of this famous U.S. Army aviator and also answers and finally sets the record straight on his death.
His book will become the standard reference on Luke's life and exploits, and by which all other books on Luke's life will be judged.
Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard
"Nothing less than outstanding"
After wading through other poorly-researched biographies of historical figures by professors with a string of academic degrees, it is refreshing to find this biography of Frank Luke, Jr. This is the way research should be done; in detail and not in a slap-dash manner.
Stephen Skinner has pulled out all the stops and has left no proverbial stone unturned in giving us this definitive biography of one of the great World War I Airmen.
It should be on the shelf of every university library. It is nothing less than outstanding. My highest recommendation.
- Dr. Watson
I just finished THE STAND. Thank you for the best read since "The Red Baron's Last Flight!" I couldn't put it down! I have been reading WW1 Aviation books for 40 years and this was absolutely incredible and fascinating!
What a herculean labor to research and compile this information. Thank You again! It gives a whole new dimension and detail to Lt. Luke! This book is a "must-read!"
- Mike Bay
"This book is a must-read!"
In THE STAND, Stephen Skinner takes all the familiar stories about Luke and attempts discern fact from fiction. Not only does Skinner research Luke's combat record, but he even details events from Luke's early life. After reading The Stand, I feel I have a much better understanding of not only Frank Luke the combat aviator, but him as a man.
In places where Skinner is unable to locate direct evidence, he approaches events as a detective. He dissects evidence and statements to reach to the most logical explanations. He takes the reader through the process so you can come to your own conclusions.
I particularly enjoyed the sections of the book where Skinner explains the circumstances of some of the few remaining pictures of Frank Luke. Skinner does an excellent job of propelling the reader back through time to the extent you almost feel you were present when the picture was taken. This book is a must read for anyone with a serious interest in Frank Luke's life.
- Barnes and Noble book reviews
"Tremendous! If you do not have it - buy it."
My copy arrived about two weeks ago and I've read it through.All I can say is that if it's not the definitive work on Luke, I don't what will be. I think you'd need to interview the man himself to get any more detail on his life and military career.
The book is a grand tome. The book is well and thoroughly researched, the reconstruction of events given the evidence are logically and rationally presented and the story is very thoughtful in presentation.
When I received it, I was going to simply cut to the chase and read the last chapter to see what really happened on 29 September 1918 when Luke was shot down, but I read the introduction first and was impressed with the way it was written, and Stephen's flair for leading us on to the story.
I thought if the main text was as engaging as the intro, it would be a good read - not just a laundry list of facts, but something that kept my attention as the story unfolds. He does this consistently throughout the book from incident to incident and chapter to chapter. You follow the trail of breadcrumbs because they appear to be leading us somewhere interesting and ultimately, that's exactly what happens.
The book will not disappoint anyone who thinks they know what happened that September evening and it will completely inform those who are new to the subject.
Luke fan or not, it's a model presentation of research done both on site and in the archives and it leverages the expertise of many people who are intimately acquainted with the many facets of the story. Instead of trying to research the minutiae of the supporting sub-stories (M-Flak guns, balloon unit tactics and organization, the German occupation of Murvaux), Stephen has done a good job of using his resources to help broaden the story and understand it's nuances without having to recreate the wheel. Above all else though, it's a work that shows Stephen's deep respect for Luke and is a fitting tribute to the man and his accomplishments.
Now, to prove I am not on the payroll... I was not impressed with the photo reproduction. There are a few great shots Stephen has dug out that I was impressed by though, and the photos are supportive of the text. I think most are the same size on the page and a few of the gems would have more impact in a larger format. Secondly, it would have benefited from an index. In a work of this size and scope, it's almost a requirement.
But that's it - the cover artwork by Russ Smith, the color interior work by Alan Toelle, the writing style, content, chapter division, endnotes, appendices - you name it.
It's a great piece of work. If you do not have it - buy it - you will not be disappointed.
I'm waiting on the DVD "The Search for the Stand" - but suspect given Stephen's background in media, it'll be every bit as good as the book. Super job.
- Mike O'Neal, New Jersey
"Your efforts have effectively closed the book on Frank Luke"
I've just finished THE STAND. I've been a WW1 aviation buff and Frank Luke fan since the mid '60's but nothing in my experience compares to your fine piece of work! I think your efforts have effectivley closed the book on Frank Luke, Jr.
THE STAND is an outstanding achievement. Thank you for this great piece of work.
- Dale E. Mallett
"Incredible... I have shelves of books on the subject but none like yours."
I have received the DVD for "The Stand". I have also read the book and companion book (The Quest). It is an incredible account of an event lost in time. I could tell that many years of work went into the research and it paid off. I have loved WWI aviation for many years and I have shelves and shelves full of books on the subject but none like yours.
I am really happy that you did not stop at the book but instead did the video and painting. I am thrilled to have the complete set and it was well worth the wait.
For the past few years I have been flying World War 1 replica aircraft at an aerodrome in Bealeton, VA and every pilot I fly with has purchased your book. We were even able to correct the markings on the Luke replica plane we have with one of your photos. You should be very proud of what you have accomplished. You turned a legend into a reality with your research.
There were a lot of people who did not think Lt. Luke was worthy of the Medal of Honor but that can no longer be said. I can't wait to see what you have planned next.
I was wondering if I could purchase a copy of the music used in the video, specifically the Olivia Kay song "Back In Time." Again, thank you for everything!
- Jeremy Seabright, VA
I read THE STAND again and it was even more amazing the second time. There is so much detail and research in that book that it is mind boggling.
I will be ordering the DVD and everything else that comes with it soon.
- Alex Aguila
"Illuminated the story like no one else"
Of all the Frank Luke books that I've read, THE STAND was far and away the best. Skinner illuminated the story like no one else has.
- Gary Bettman
"By far the best I've ever read"
I've just finished reading your book on Lt. Frank Luke, Jr. and I must commend you on a great research job - by far the best I've ever read on Lt. Luke. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give it a 10 with no hesitation.
- Harry Logiudice, CT
"A great body of work"
The promo disc, the book with photo print (very nice touch), and the letter also arrived. Almost done reading the book, but I know I have only started learning. First class work all around.
Your analysis of the data you collected is well reasoned, and highly probable (approaching a probability of 1.00, frankly). I was impressed with the way you handled, and most completely accurately, the variations in the testimonies, especially of Lt. Mangels. Memory is indeed a tenuous tool over time. Your conclusion was well weighed.
So again, thanks. You have given us a great body of work. - Glenn "Chip" Burt, UK
"A fine piece of historical research"
I have never written you to say THANKS! It is real wonderful to read the words your grandfather and namesake heard just before he took the flight that earned him his DSC. Amazing and totally unexpected. I'm also surprised at how many of the other members of the squadron were names I heard my father and mother discuss at the kitchen table.
I read history often and recognize good work when I see it. I will be proud to hand down such a fine piece of historical research and writing to future generations of Stout's. Thanks again.
- Pen Stout
"A definitive account - 5 Stars!"
"THE STAND:The Final Flight of Lt. Frank Luke, Jr." by Stephen Skinner provides a fascinating historical insight into the life and meteoric air combat career of Frank Luke, particularly his final fateful flight which is examined with a wealth of rigorously documented research.
- Great War Eagle, Amazon.com
"The last word on Luke - unless Stephen uncovers new material!"
I received my copy yesterday by Priority Mail. I'm very impressed with it. Not only is it obviously the culmination of a great deal of well-documented first-hand research, the book is very nicely laid-out and Stephen's text is very clear and readable. The organization makes good sense and the historical inter-connections are clearly presented.
The book is packed with photographs, many apparently never before published, and the book could well be the last word on Luke - unless Stephen uncovers new material!
"Wow! It's really unbelievable."
Wow! I just received my copy of Stephen Skinner's long-anticipated book THE STAND. First let me say that I knew Stephen put a lot of work into this project, but I had no idea that the book was going to be so thick! Congratulations to Stephen on such a wonderful achievement! I know its the culmination of a LOT of work.Looking at the size of this volume, its really unbelievable to think that there are some things that he left out of this book. I know he must be really proud (and relieved)!
Second, let me extend a personal thank you once again to Stephen for bringing me in on this project. He entrusted me with the task of taking 15+ years worth of his life's work, summing it all up in one image, and and doing so in a manner that is worthy enough to be the of the book. I am honored to have been a part of it!
- Russell Smith, NC
"Amazing research, great book - 5 Stars!"
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has interest in aerial warfare during the first world war or anyone that is looking for a highly researched book on the great balloon buster Frank Luke.
- AA from Amazon.com