The story of the jet engine has everything: genius, tragedy, heroism, a world war, the individual vs. the state and an idea that would change the world. Frank Whittle himself maintained that he was held back by lack of government support. At the very moment in 1943 when his invention was unveiled to the world ('Britain has fighter with no propeller' ran the Daily Express headline), his company, Power Jets, was forcibly nationalised. In fact, as Andrew Nahum shows in this brilliantly researched book, Whittle's innovative brilliance, his charm and charisma helped him recruit major support from the British government and the RAF for his ambitious idea 'to build a jet engine' at a time when to do so made little sense. Frank Whittle: Invention of the Jet is a story of what pushing technology to its limits can achieve and the effect that such achievement can have on those closely involved. Andrew Nahum is Senior Curator of Aeronautics at the Science Museum in London and a Visiting Research Tutor in Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art. Previous books include a biography of Alec Issigonis, designer of the Mini.