Fokker Aircraft of World War One, by Paul Leaman, Crowood Aviation Series, 2001; 9 x 11 1/2 in.; Hard covers; 192 pp., 396 photographs and line illustrations, plus appendices and index; ISBN 1 86126 353 8; $42.95
Recently while browsing through Zenith's aviation catalog a title caught my eye. Oftentimes the same titles are there month after month, but, when a certain author name catches your eye you sit up and pay attention. Such was the case with 'Fokker Aircraft of World War One' by Paul Leaman. Knowing that Paul, as Managing Editor of Cross & Cockade International for over 25 years, was a heavy researcher into the Fokker Triplane, I knew that the book was worth a look. When the book arrived I opened the package to take a look. Here is what I found. Crowood has done an excellent job of graphic design in presenting Paul's work. As a graphic designer by trade I am always interested in how a publisher displays the information. I can say without hesitation that this book is a model for this type of book. The book is organized into 12 chapters that in a chronological manner tell the story of Anthony Fokker and his aircraft designs of the WWI period. The text is well written. The 396 photographs are well reproduced with many never before published photos along with some old friends. Paul also displays a deft hand as a draftsman in the numerous general arrangement drawings that illustrate each section. With all the positives there are a few niggling errors that have crept into the text. This in the way of some misspelled names like Boelke instead of Boelcke, missing umlauts and accents, a few miscaptioned photos, and engine nomenclature mistakes like Oberursel Ur.I instead of U.I, Ur.III where U.III was meant or vice versa. Some of the captions were very brief, leaving out identities of personnel, although more detailed descriptions have appeared elsewhere. I found out later that Paul had been in hospital recovering from surgery during the final edit pass. These minor errors detract very little from this fine book. It deserves a place on every WWI enthusiast's shelf... when he's not reading it, of course! If this is any indication of what lies ahead, Paul's next book on the Fokker Dr.I Triplane will also be a real treat!
submitted by Aaron Weaver