Fighting High Books
The Life and Poetry of Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee
by Roger Cole
Hardback - 224pp - 234 x 156mm. 32pp b&w section. World Rights - Fighting High Ltd. ISBN - 9780957116368.
When Second World War Spitfire pilot John Gillespie Magee penned his poem ‘High Flight’, little did he know that his words would inspire legions of aspiring aviators who had a similar wish to fly their ‘eager craft through footless halls of air’. Founded on years of detailed research, Roger Cole’s book tells John Magee’s extraordinary story, describing hitherto-unknown details of his short life, and providing insight into the inspiration for the poems that have found a unique place in history.
John Magee grew up and was educated in different parts of the world, proving to be a highly accomplished student. Through his experiences, he developed principles that made him determined to defend the rights of those he loved and respected. Exhilarated by flight and finding unique language in poetry, John was able to use words to express the emotions and sentiments of all who fly in a manner that is acknowledged and applauded throughout the world. The outbreak of war in Europe violated his beliefs, and, determined to fight for freedom, John left America and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, travelling to England to fight Nazism. Tragically, John would lose his life, aged 19 years, in an accident, so never know how his words would serve posterity. Roger Cole’s High Flight traces the path of John Magee’s achievement, revealing an incredible story of human endeavour, vision, determination and self-sacrifice.
Firetrench Aero and Defence News (January 2014) '... the author has eloquently traced his life, achievements, human endeavour, vision, determination and self-sacrifice. Photographic plate sections add to the text, rounding the picture. This is a military history that will appeal to all those interested in understanding the military past, but it is also a very personal history and a look into the creativity of Pilot Office Magee that should appeal to a very much wider readership.'
War History Online (March 2014) 'Excellent book ... beautifully written'.