Chronicle Books has produced many exciting, well-researched, expertly written and graphically enticing books exploring seemingly every facet of American popular culture. It's also served up some slapdash, cut-and-paste jobs that needed a little more editorial effort. This stewardess tome definitely falls in the latter category. It's a scrapbook mess of a book and a big disappointment. Even the short introduction, though fairly informative and well-written, doesn't let us know exactly when the "golden age" of flight occurred. 1950s? 1960s? Going by the book's cover and the retro title, I anticipated a narrowly focused book on the era of the swinging stewardess, roughly 15 years from 1960 to 1975. This was the golden age of flight and the golden age of the stewardess. Airlines then only hired young, female, unmarried, childless, great-looking stews and outfitted them in uniforms ranging from smart Pucci designs (Braniff) to street-corner hooker getups (Pacific Southwest Airlines). Popular culture in those years was wild about the stewardess. The sexy stew was the ultimate object of desire. Books, movies, magazines, TV shows, postcards, board games, cocktail glasses, boarding passes, you-name-it, fired up the male libido (and cash registers) with provocative images and tall tales. No bachelor's little black book was complete with the name of at least one Rachel or Trudi or Bambi who flew the friendly skies. There was an entire publishing boom around Donald Bain's ghost-written "Coffee, Tea or Me" paperbacks. Drive-in movies were replete with gorgeous stews doing very adult things. This book does touch on some material of this crazy era--advertisements, grainy snapshots, brochures--but it's pretty scant and mixed together with other stewardess ephemera from dowdier times. The entire book is non-annotated, so you don't know exactly what you're looking at or why. For example, facing pages will show a stewardess class from the 1980s and a class from the 1950s without a single caption or even letting you know what airline. Even the credit page in the back is not useful; it credits the cover from USAirways without letting you know it's actually two PSA stewardesses from the early '70s before the USAirways merger. A much better book came out a few years ago called "Come Fly With Us." Though apparently out-of-print, it's worth tracking down if you're really interested in flight attendant history. The big pop-culture book about the much-loved sexy stewardess, though, is still to be written.