What is the summary for Charles A. Lindbergh: A Human Hero?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Not surprisingly, this book is about the life story of Charles Lindbergh and, specifically, how he was labeled as a hero and then hounded by the media.

Why is this significant?  In 1927 people were being exposed to both written media (newspapers and magazines) as well as voiced media (radio).  This created the ability for people to be more aware of current events. One of these events was the Trans-Atlantic flight made by Charles Lindbergh.

Charles Lindbergh's flight was perfect for the newbie media outlets to jump on.  Lindbergh was the first pilot to attempt and succeed in this endeavor. It was a non-stop trip in his famous plane called The Spirit of St. Louis.  The flight took 33 hours and 30 minutes.  The 25-year-old Lindbergh became an almost overnight celebrity as people learned of his accomplishment.  Because of the media treatment here, Lindbergh was adored in America and had a reputation as a hero who could do no wrong.  He was an officer in the US Army Air Corps Reserve and was awarded the Medal of Honor for this historic flight.  As well as being an aviator, Lindbergh was also an author, inventor, military officer, explorer, and social activist. 

What ended up tarnishing Lindbergh's image came from the media as well: his ties to Nazi Germany.  He was an outspoken isolationist and this view cost him his reputation with many among the general public.  His rise to fame and subsequent fall from his political thoughts and leanings were both events which happened quickly.  Lindbergh, then, had a quick rise and a crashing fall from grace.

In conclusion, it might be helpful to think about how this book portrays the media as pouncing upon both triumph and tragedy.  Perhaps you've heard it said that Americans love to put heroes up on a pedestal and then laugh (or at least enjoy watching) as the pedestal comes crashing down.  Giblin's book about Lindbergh certainly goes far in proving that theory.

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