Come Fly the World by Julia Cooke - A Book Review

I love to travel. I love planning for travel, exploring new locations and reliving memories of travel. I love watching the flight crew walking through airports, with their airline emblazoned uniforms and luggage and can’t help but wonder where they are flying to next. Therefore, when I spotted Come Fly the World by Julia Cooke on a list of March publications, I knew I wanted to read it.


This non-fiction book tells the history of airline travel between 1966 and 1975 on Pan Am airlines, an airline that ceased operations in 1991. The book tells the story of several stewardesses (as they were one called) who joined the airline in order to see the world. The book describes the requirements of the airline at that time - a college education, the ability to speak at least two languages, to be under the age of 26, and between 5’3” and 5’9” in height and weigh between 105 and 140 lbs.

Book Review

I really enjoyed the book which is also a discussion on a woman’s role in society during this time period. The sex appeal of these women were using widely in advertising for the airlines - in fact, males were unable to be hired for this role. The book recognizes these women as being so much more. They occasionally were taken into stressful situations including flights into Vietnam during wartime to transfer young soldiers to Hong Kong and back for five days of rest and relaxation. I cannot imagine the emotional toll this would take on these women when flying these men back to the battlefield.

One of my favourite stories in the book was named Operation Babylift. There were many children in Vietnam who were orphaned, or given up during the fall of Saigon. During this specific operation, 2000 children were evacuated by the airline and involved many days of travel getting to their final destination. Many of these children were ill at the time, or infants, necessitating these women work tirelessly to ensure their special passengers had their needs met.

Audiobook Review

I listened to the audiobook format of this book which was narrated by Andi Arndt who provided a good performance. Her voice was youthful, articulate and pleasant to listen to. I listened to the book at my usual 1.25x speed. I would not hesitate to recommend the audiobook version of this book for those that appreciate this format.

What I Liked About Come Fly the World:
  • The depth of research involved with writing this book
  • The parallels between these women and the changing role of women at the time
  • The discussion of the airlines role during the Vietnam war.
I Recommend This Book To:

Those readers who appreciate non-fiction set in history.

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5.

Similar Books I've Reviewed:

Thanks for reading!  Please feel free to leave a comment.  As always, I hope you have a wonderful day.


  1. This sounds like such an interesting book. I know they made a TV series called Pan Am (or something similar) about the airline, but reading a book about it sounds great!
    Thanks for sharing
    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

    1. Yes I loved the TV series too! Thanks for your comment Aimsy!

  2. Great review! This sounds like such an interesting read. I love traveling as well. Hopefully once the pandemic ends I’ll be able to do some more of it! Thank you for sharing!

  3. I love books that delve into women's issues. This sounds very interesting!

  4. This sounds really interesting. We miss travel so much!

  5. Oooh this sounds so interesting! I'm definitely going to add this to my to be read list!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

  6. It's a lovely review, and the story behind all the uniforms and smiles sounds thought-provoking,

    Thanks for an insightful review.

  7. This is such a lovely review! I love how you give in-depth reviews of books. This sounds like something I would enjoy. I would definitely love to read it.

  8. This books sound so interesting! I like reading about history and this being about the changing of women's role in the society is great!