What was it like to fly on British airliners before the Second World War? And why did you have to change planes so often? And why did the Conservatives nationalise the airlines, and Labour open up civil aviation for free enterprise? Born of Adversity looks at the paradoxes of aviation policy from the very beginning as it tells the story of Britain's airlines, the challenges they faced, the opportunities they found, who helped them fly, and who got in the way. An intriguing blend of heroic endeavour and epic mismanagement, the history of British civil aviation reflects our nation's strengths and weaknesses and, above all, the muddle in our politics and policies. This book helps steer you through them, as it tells of Imperial Airways, the wartime experiences of BOAC and the small internal airlines, the creation of BEA after the war, and the short-lived British South American Airways, the importance of aircraft manufacturers like Avro and de Havilland, the Berlin Airlift, and the indomitable rise of the private airlines, and their champions like Freddie Laker and Harold Bamberg, as they forced their way centre stage to share the limelight with the government owned corporations.