Brendan I. Koerner describes how in 1968 airplane hijackings had become routine, and that over a five-year period the desperate and disillusioned would seize commercial jets nearly once a week, using guns, bombs, and jars of acid. Some hijackers wanted to escape to another country, others aimed to swap hostages for cash. In The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking Koerner writes about cast of characters ranging from exiled Black Panthers to African despots to French movie stars, and paints a psychological portrait of America at a turbulent time.
This week Alcoholics Anonymous holds its annual meeting where they are celebrating their 75th anniversary. More than a million Americans attend one of the 55,000 meeting groups, and countless more have been through the program since Bill Wilson and and Ebby Thatcher began spreading the gospel of surrender in 1935. What still isn't clear though, is why it works, or more accurately, why it works for some and not for others.