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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Wings of Angels: Tribute to the Art of WWII Pinup and Aviation Volume 1

So if you have been following my book review site, Reviews From The Heart, you already know I am a huge fan of WWII history, aviation and fashion. I am super excited to share something that combines the beauty of WWII Pinups, authentic WWII aircraft, some history of the time period and people that sacrificed so much for the freedoms we now, including Hollywood's role in the war effort ,all captured in beautiful color, sepia, and black and white photos by photographer Michael Malak. In the first of a two volume set, Wings of Angels: Tribute to the Art of WWII Pinup and Aviation Volume 1, is a three year plus project that the photographer captured as a tribute to his grandfather, Henry Michael Malak, a WWII veteran that passed away before the book could be published. It bears a dedication page that outlines the purpose of capturing the very essence of WWII and the veterans that are slowly slipping into history as time marches on.

The photographs are tastefully done which is why I reviewed the book. From classic 1940's fashion, to period lingerie all the photos capture that moment when women would have their photos taken to encourage their men as a way to remember what awaited them when they got home and that their sacrifice was not all in vain. Hollywood starlets joined the ranks from Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Veronica Lake and even Dorothy Lamore whose pictures as a pinup model raised more than $300 million dollars through war bond sales. These women became the inspiration that contributed to the pin up look that is captured in this book.

For those that love the planes and the history that goes along with them, Michael Malak takes you right into the heart of the cockpit as you fly the P51D Mustang, P-40 Warhawk, B-17G Fortress, BT-13B Valiant, SBD-4 Dauntless, and C-47 Skytrain. From plane specifications, service histories, flight crew stories, missions, and everything in between, you truly get an indepth inside look at some of those planes our service men and women have flown. The pictures of the aircraft alone gives readers a look inside some of these planes we might never see. All the aircraft in this volume are stored currently at Yanks Air Museum in Chino as well as the B-17G can be viewed at Palm Springs Air Museum if you want a closer look.

As if there isn't already enough, tucked between the pages of this hard cover book, Michael captures the big advertising companies of WWII from the story of Coca Cola and the War, to the Lucky Strike campaigns to lend their support to the war through rationing efforts in their packaging. There are some amazing artists that also shared their work thanks to Michael's inspriational photographs and commissioned their work to appear in this volume from Kelly X, Romain Hugault, Carlos Vlaenzuela, and Lorenzo Di Mauro give you that extra bonus that truly completes this collection. There are even some amazing stories called "fun facts" that share what happened on those beautiful shots that were captured and how difficult it was to obtain that perfect final look that you see in this book.

I received Wings of Angels: Tribute to the Art of WWII Pinup and Aviation by Michael Malak compliments of Schiffer Publishing for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. There is truly something for everyone in this book whether you love the planes, the fashion, the history, the advertising or the pinups, this is a great gift for just about any WWII fan of photography and history. I easily give this book a 5 out of 5 stars and don't forget when you pick this one up, you might want to grab volume 2 as well. Word has it there is even a 2015 Wings of Angels calendar available as well.

For more information about Wings of Angels: Tribute to the Art of WWII Pinup and Aviation, Michael Malak, or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Michael Malak on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest books and photography.

To order a limited edition commemorative set that includes both volumes in a slipcase for the true collector, please click here.

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