• Charles Kingsford Smith and Those Magnificent Men

  • By: Peter FitzSimons
  • Narrated by: Richard Aspel
  • Length: 26 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-07-09
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
  • 5 out of 5 stars 5.0 (2 ratings)


Known to millions of Australians simply as "Smithy", Sir Charles Kingsford Smith was one of Australia's true 20th-century legends. In an era in which aviators were superstars, Smithy was among the greatest and, throughout his amazing career, his fame in Australia was matched only by that of Don Bradman Among other achievements, Kingsford Smith was the first person to fly across the Pacific. He broke the record for the fastest flight from England to Australia, and at one point he held more long-distance flying records than anyone else on the planet.
If that wasn't enough, Smithy was also a war hero, receiving the Military Cross for gallantry in action after being shot - and losing three toes - during one of many flying missions during World War I. Smithy was not the lone adventurer of the skies. Early aviation drew to it a company of daredevils who all challenged gravity and fear.
This comprehensive biography, written with typical flair by best-selling author Peter FitzSimons, covers the triumphs and tragedies of not only Kingsford Smith's daring and controversial life but also those of his companion aviators.
©2009 Peter FitzSimons (P)2009 Bolinda Publishing
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Regular price: £32.89

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sandy on 16-08-14

Great piece of history

Would you listen to Charles Kingsford Smith and Those Magnificent Men again? Why?

I will most certainly listen to this again

What did you like best about this story?

An interesting back ground on an Australian Charector , given his notoriety I am surprised in a way to find how his fame out weighed his business sense. It was also interesting to hear about a history of aviation and the names that have and have not carried through to nowadays.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listen to these things at work, as with all the other FitzSimons stories I struggle to turn them off when I go home at the end of the day

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Tim on 14-10-11

Adventure and the invention of aviation

All I knew about Smithy before reading this was that he flew the Southern Cross and he was on our $20 note back when it was still paper.

After reading this book, which is brilliantly read, I came away with an amazing appreciation for the pioneers who literally invented flight, flying, and aviation as they went along.

Not to mention the incredible life of the man himself Smithy.... Every Australian should read this book. Peter FitzSimons and Richard Aspel have done a remarkable job bringing the people and events of so long ago to vibrant life, right there in my ears. Thanks guys.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Frank on 26-01-13

Fascinating & Well Researched

What made the experience of listening to Charles Kingsford Smith and Those Magnificent Men the most enjoyable?

The breadth and depth of the research which included the history of flight. It was incredibly interesting and shed a lot of light on a period of history perhaps not that well know today.

What other book might you compare Charles Kingsford Smith and Those Magnificent Men to and why?

I've read a few other biographical books by Peter Fitzsimons and this is in the same genre. As usual the research is excellent.

What does Richard Aspel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Overall I liked Richard Aspel's performance - it was very colourful and animated but in a couple of places it felt slightly theatrical.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I really admired the courage and determination of the pioneers of flight and the difficulties they had to contend with.

Any additional comments?

A great and very interesting read particularly for anyone interested in Australian history and flight.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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