Lindbergh

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Charles Lindbergh remains one of the enduring icons of the twentieth century. His solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927 captured the imagination of the world. His act of daring seemed to redeem human heroism in the age of the machine. His modesty and refusal to commercialize his celebrity only...

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Charles Lindbergh remains one of the enduring icons of the twentieth century. His solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927 captured the imagination of the world. His act of daring seemed to redeem human heroism in the age of the machine. His modesty and refusal to commercialize his celebrity only added to his heroic stature. Marriage to Anne Morrow, daughter of a distinguished Wall Street banker and diplomat, appeared to put the storybook seal on Lindbergh’s good fortune. The happy couple became a photogenic team, exploring remote corners of the world by airplane. But there was a dark side to Lindbergh’s fame.

The press hounded Lindbergh and his family. This constant exposure in the media contributed to the most harrowing event of the Lindberghs’ lives. In 1932, their two-year-old son was killed in a bungled kidnapping. The case quickly became a news sensation, the investigation and trial dragging on for years. Desperate to find some privacy, Lindbergh moved his family to Europe. Here Lindbergh watched the onset of war. He believed the conflict would be a disaster. He returned to America in 1939, hoping to persuade his countrymen to stay out of the war. His refusal to condemn Nazi Germany convinced many Americans that he was Nazi. During World War II, he would be blacklisted by the Roosevelt administration, and prevented from joining the military. After the war passions faded, Lindbergh’s contributions to aviation and environmentalism helped rehabilitate his reputation.

A. Scott Berg is the first biographer allowed full access to the Lindbergh papers. He has made the most of this privilege, and has written what should be the definitive biography of Charles Lindbergh. Berg captures the drama of Lindbergh’s life; he also gives readers a very human account of a hero who never forgot that he was a man.

Sources for Further Study

Business Week. November 9, 1998, p. 38.

The Christian Science Monitor. November 12, 1998, p. B5.

The Economist. CCCXLVII, November 14, 1998, p. NA.

Los Angeles Times Book Review. September 20, 1998, p. 3.

National Review. L, October 26, 1998, p. 50.

The New York Times Book Review. CIII, September 27, 1998, p. 14.

Publishers Weekly. CCXLV, August 24, 1998, p. 38.

Time. CLII, September 21, 1998, p. 103.

The Times Literary Supplement. October 30, 1998, p. 3.

The Washington Post Book World. XXVIII, September 20, 1998, p. 1.

Historical Context

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Early Aviation
The idea flight goes back as long as humanity has existed with humans taking note of the ways that bird and human physiognomy resemble one another, except for birds’ wings. History has kept no record of most of the small-time dreamers who have tried to make false wings that would give humans flight. One of the earliest recorded flights occurred in England, circa 1100 A.D., when an unnamed monk attached wings to his hands, jumped off a tower, and glided almost six hundred feet before breaking both legs upon landing. Most attempts to fly were of a similar vein: optimistic, ambitious, and futile. Leonardo da Vinci, the great Renaissance inventor and artist, was one of the first to approach the subject of flight from a scientific perspective. In 1500, he drew in his notebook a sketch of a flying contraption that had broad hinged wings that flapped by the power of a man attached to them in a harness. Although da Vinci’s flying machine was never practical, some of his ideas about flight were useful to George Cayley, who, in 1804, designed a glider that was based on the ideas of propulsion, or forward motion, and the lift that could be achieved with the proper propulsion. These are the basic ideas that guide modern aviation.

The next pioneer in the advance of aviation was a German engineer, Otto Lilienthal, who realized that wing design was crucial to transferring propulsion into lift. Lilienthal made over 2,500 glider flights with wings attached to his arms, experimenting with variables in balance and shape. His designs resembled hang gliders of today. He died during one of his flights, but he left behind extensive notes, which future generations of aviators drew upon. By Lilienthal’s time, the idea of gliding in the air was fairly well established, but no one could find a way for a flying machine to propel itself without having so much equipment that it would be too heavy to lift off the ground.

In the early twentieth century, there were a number of inventors experimenting with the idea of a self-propelled airplane. One notable one was Samuel Langley, the curator of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Langley was fascinated with airplane theory, and he wrote an influential book on the subject, Experiments in Aerodynamics. In 1903, Langley thought that he had a working airplane, and he called members of the press to witness his initial flight, but as soon as the wires holding the plane down were cut, it rolled to the edge of the houseboat it was launching from and dropped into the ocean. A second attempt in December of that same year ended just as disastrously. Nine days later, the Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, launched a plane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. It stayed in the air on its own power for twelve seconds, confirming the Wrights’ theories and ushering in the modern age of aviation.

Airplanes were still for hobbyists and scientists for the most part of the following decade. It was not until World War I, which started in 1914, that their true practicality became apparent. Originally, they were used by both sides for scouting enemy positions until the Germans thought to equip their planes with machine guns, leading to ‘‘dog fights’’ between enemy planes. This quickly advanced the mobility of airplanes and the number of trained, skilled pilots. After the war, many of these pilots had flying in their blood and continued to show off their talent at barnstorming shows across the country. The growth of the airmail industry, as outlined in Lindbergh, kept many ex-army pilots employed, doing what they loved.

Isolationism
Isolationism refers to a political theory which suggests that keeping the United States away from involvement in events in Europe and in the Western Hemisphere is best. The United States has a history of isolationism going back to the early days of the republic. George Washington advised the country, in his farewell address, to stay out of alliances with other countries that might drag the United States into war. Thomas Jefferson expressed similar views. Throughout the nineteenth century, America followed the events in Europe, but there was always a strong, vocal segment of the population who held a high standard for what should be considered in the ‘‘national interest,’’ particularly something worth becoming involved in a war.

In the twentieth century, the pull to become involved in European affairs became even stronger. Newer forms of transportation, such as the steamship and transcontinental air flight (which Lindbergh helped pioneer) cut the distance that naturally isolated America. At the same time, the European wars became more complex, involving more and more countries through treaties and obligations. At one time, thirty-two nations were involved in World War I.

Woodrow Wilson was reelected to the presidency in 1916 with the promise that he would keep the United States out of the war that had been raging in Europe for two years. In April 1917, after a coded message was intercepted regarding a German request for Mexico’s help in attacking the United States, Wilson asked Congress to declare war. In 1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was reelected by promising to stay out of the European war, but that neutral stance was shoved aside when the naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked by the Japanese in December of 1941. One of the most powerful isolationist groups in the country’s history was the America First Committee, founded in 1941, and of which Lindbergh was an active member. Once the country was at war, the general belief that World War II was ‘‘The Good War’’ (a nickname that continues to this day) doomed the cause of isolationism, making its adherents, including Lindbergh, seem cowardly and unpatriotic.

Lindbergh

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Charles Lindbergh exploded onto the world scene in 1927, flying his single-engined monoplane The Spirit of St. Louis nonstop from New York to Paris. To a postwar world mired in cynicism and hungry for heroes, the modest young flyer from Minnesota seemed the answer to a prayer. Lindbergh was immediately lionized as no man of modern times had been before. His appeal transcended celebrity. He became an icon, a shining beacon of human enterprise and courage in an age of machines. For Lindbergh himself, however, fame would prove to be as much a curse as a blessing, and he would struggle with the smothering effects of his own legend for the rest of his life.

A. Scott Berg’s Lindbergh is an ambitious attempt to understand the man behind the myth. This is no easy task, for even those closest to Lindbergh found him something of an enigma. Berg, moreover, is no literary magician, able to achieve the impossible. At the end of his book, the great flyer still remains something of a mystery. Yet Berg comes closer than any previous biographer to explaining his elusive subject. His book is especially valuable because he was the first scholar allowed unrestricted access to the Lindbergh papers. As a result, he is able to add much new detail and nuance to a familiar story, and his work will likely be the standard biography of Charles Lindbergh for years to come.

Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born on February 4, 1902. His father, Charles August Lindbergh, was the son of Swedish immigrants and a prosperous lawyer in Little Falls, Minnesota. His mother, Evangeline Lodge Land, was the daughter of the man who had pioneered porcelain dentistry; she met her husband while teaching school in Little Falls. Unfortunately, Lindbergh’s early years were not happy. His parents’ marriage proved to be a failure. Charles August Lindbergh allowed friends to persuade him to run for Congress in 1906. At least part of the attraction of the race was the prospect of escaping his home. He won the election, and the first of five consecutive terms. The ensuing years would be a blur of homes and schools for his son, who was shuffled between his father and mother, between Washington, D.C., and Minnesota. Lindbergh grew up intensely shy, more comfortable in the company of his pets than that of other people. He also learned to be extremely self-sufficient and self-reliant, qualities that would later undergird his greatest successes but that would also frustrate those closest to him.

Lindbergh early demonstrated an affinity for machines, especially automobiles. For this reason, his father tapped him to be his driver as he ran for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 1916. In his years in Congress, the elder Lindbergh had been a fiery champion of the Progressive wing of the Republican Party. As a candidate for the Senate, he ran as an opponent of American intervention in World War I. His message proved unpopular in a country already girding itself for war, and he was heavily defeated. Even more disastrous was a 1918 campaign for the governorship of Minnesota. Charles August Lindbergh’s antiwar sentiments now seemed treasonous to many, and he was regularly harassed and even, on occasion, threatened with lynching. Lindbergh watched the destruction of his father’s career, and he imbibed long-lasting lessons about politics, politicians, and the passions unleashed by war.

A more traditional education continued in a somewhat haphazard fashion. In the fall of 1920, Lindbergh entered the University of Wisconsin. Less than two years later, he flunked out. His parents’ marriage was now irretrievably broken, and neither possessed the means to support him. Lindbergh thus had to strike out on his own. He chose to indulge a dream that had been growing within him: He decided to learn to fly. He took some commercial lessons, then honed his skills working with pilots barnstorming across the Midwest. Lindbergh became an aerial stuntman, walking wings and testing parachutes. Eager to fly more modern machines than the war-surplus planes available to him, Lindbergh enrolled in the Army’s Air Service Advanced Flying School in 1924; the next year, he graduated first in his class. The Army did not need many pilots, so Lindbergh found himself in the Reserves and in need of employment. He barnstormed for a period, then settled in St. Louis and accepted an offer to become a pioneer of the fledgling air-mail service. His route to Chicago was considered one of the most dangerous in the country because of the tempestuous weather. Lindbergh survived two crashes, becoming known as “Lucky Lindy” in flying circles.

In St. Louis, Lindbergh began pondering the possibility of flying nonstop from New York to Paris, a common dream for airmen of his day. In 1919, Raymond Orteig had further spurred interest by offering a prize of $25,000 for the first men who accomplished the feat. Until the mid-1920’s, such a flight had seemed a technical impossibility. Yet as the decade wore on, new planes were being designed that seemed capable of sustaining such a test of endurance. In 1926, a famous French flyer made an attempt in an experimental multiengined plane that crashed on takeoff, killing two of the crew. Soon, several other world-famous aviators were planning transatlantic flights. Lindbergh, tired of flying the mail, wanted to measure himself against the greatest challenge in his profession, but he was virtually unknown and had no money of his own. Working diligently, he found backers in St. Louis and a manufacturer, the Ryan Aeronautical Company of San Diego, California, to build his plane. Lindbergh bet his life, and his backers’ money, that he could fly the Atlantic alone in a single-engined monoplane, a sharp contrast to the large and expensive machines being tested by his competitors.

The race to win the Orteig Prize captured the imagination of the press. Suddenly, the quest to surmount this aeronautical hurdle became a drama engrossing millions of readers. A pair of French aviators took off from Paris’ Le Bourget aerodrome, passed observers on the French coast, and then disappeared. Technical and legal problems delayed the leading American teams. The glare of publicity descended on Lindbergh. Though few newspapermen thought much of his chances, they began to lionize him as a solitary hero, the “Flyin’ Fool.” From this point, Lindbergh would never be able to disentangle his life from the demands of the mass media. When he took off in The Spirit of St. Louis on May 20, 1927, his departure was a headline story on both sides of the Atlantic, and millions followed his progress as he was sighted over land and sea. By the time he approached Paris, he already was an international sensation. Upon landing, he reaped the whirlwind. He was the most famous man in the world. An age that needed a hero embraced Lindbergh; he soon realized that it would not let go.

Lindbergh proved an attractive hero. He demonstrated grace and dignity in public, and he resisted crass attempts to exploit his fame. He devoted himself to promoting the cause of commercial aviation. In the midst of this activity, he met Anne Morrow, the daughter of Dwight Morrow, a distinguished Wall Street banker who was serving as ambassador to Mexico. Anne was quiet, sensitive, and a gifted writer. She and Lindbergh were married in 1929, and they entered into a highly public life together. The photogenic pair became a team, exploring remote parts of the world by airplane. A son born to them in 1930 was named after his father. They seemed America’s golden couple.

Tragedy scarred the Lindberghs’s lives with searing abruptness in 1932, when their young son was killed in a kidnapping. The crime shocked the nation, and it became one of the most sensational news stories of the century as police searched first for the baby, then for his killer. Lindbergh blamed his son’s death on the incessant publicity that surrounded his family. To escape the press, the Lindberghs moved to Europe in 1935. During these bleak years, Lindbergh assuaged his grief through work. He and Anne continued their explorations. Lindbergh found funds to support the research of Robert Goddard, the father of American rocketry, and, working with the medical theorist Alexis Carrel, designed a precursor to the artificial heart.

As the decade wore on, Lindbergh became increasingly disturbed by the threat of war. At the behest of the U.S. War Department, he accepted invitations to inspect Nazi Germany’s developing air force. He was highly impressed by what he saw, and he was haunted by the conviction that a war would be a catastrophe for Western civilization. In 1939, he returned to the United States and began a campaign to persuade Americans to stay out of the coming conflict with Germany. This pitted him against President Franklin Roosevelt, who was committed to aligning the United States with the nations struggling to contain German aggression. Lindbergh quickly emerged as the leading spokesman of the America First movement, arguing that the United States should look to its own defenses and avoid foreign entanglements. His father’s son, he refused to compromise his principles, despite their high price. For the first time in his life, Lindbergh became a controversial figure. Because he would not condemn Germany, many Americans began to believe that he was a Nazi.

Pearl Harbor found Lindbergh isolated and under a cloud of suspicion. The Roosevelt Administration blacklisted him, and he was refused permission to enter the military. Lindbergh was forced to spend the war as a test pilot, though he did manage to fly fifty “unofficial” combat missions in the Pacific. Attitudes toward Lindbergh began to thaw with the death of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945. He was sent on an official mission to occupied Germany to inspect the wreckage of the Nazi jet and rocket programs; he also became a consultant to the Air Force and helped reorganize the Strategic Air Command. President Dwight Eisenhower honored him for his service by awarding him the rank of brigadier general.

Lindbergh furthered the cause of his own rehabilitation by writing a memoir of his 1927 transatlantic flight. The Spirit of St. Louis was published in 1953, and it became a best- seller. The book reminded Americans of the seemingly more innocent era when Lindbergh first burst onto the scene, and the film rights were quickly sold. Lindbergh’s success was crowned when he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1954. The next year, Anne Morrow Lindbergh had a literary triumph of her own, publishing A Gift from the Sea, a meditation on modern womanhood. The book became a publishing phenomenon, and the Lindberghs were re- established in Americans’ minds as a model couple. The reality of their marriage, however, was not as rosy as the image. Lindbergh’s lifelong restlessness became almost compulsive in the 1950’s. He was constantly on the move and rarely home. When he was about, his perfectionism worked like acid on his more emotionally vulnerable wife. It is one of the revelations of Berg’s biography that Anne in these years engaged in a long- standing affair with a family friend. The Lindberghs eventually reached a tacit accommodation with each other, spending long periods apart.

Almost to the end of his life, Charles Lindbergh remained active. His last great cause was environmentalism, and his projects ranged from saving whales from commercial fishermen to protecting the aboriginal Tasaday people of the Philippines. He was struck down by cancer in 1974. He died in Hawaii, calmly supervising the digging of his grave.

A. Scott Berg contents himself with telling the tumultuous story of Charles Lindbergh. He does not place Lindbergh’s life in a larger cultural context, but his book does provide the raw material for a powerful study of fame in the age of the modern mass media. Few men have achieved the heights of celebrity enjoyed by Charles Lindbergh, or suffered as much for that gilt privilege.

Sources for Further Study

Business Week. November 9, 1998, p. 38.

The Christian Science Monitor. November 12, 1998, p. B5.

The Economist. CCCXLVII, November 14, 1998, p. NA.

Los Angeles Times Book Review. September 20, 1998, p. 3.

National Review. L, October 26, 1998, p. 50.

The New York Times Book Review. CIII, September 27, 1998, p. 14.

Publishers Weekly. CCXLV, August 24, 1998, p. 38.

Time. CLII, September 21, 1998, p. 103.

The Times Literary Supplement. October 30, 1998, p. 3.

The Washington Post Book World. XXVIII, September 20, 1998, p. 1.

Literary Style

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Archetype
An archetype is a recurring image that is recognized throughout society, meaning practically the same thing to all people. The concept comes from the psychological concept of a collective unconscious, which theorizes that people all have deep within them similar memories, leading back to one common source. A mother holding a child, for instance, is an archetypal image that is universally recognized, as is an extended hand or a clenched fist. Usually, archetypes are thought to be images or ideas that date back thousands, if not millions, of years, to a time before different cultures developed out of one common source.

Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic is an archetype for the mechanical age. Spectators across the world, in all corners of the globe, marveled at the news of the aviator’s accomplishment, indicating that there is something in humans of all societies that recognize what an incredible thing it is for a person to be able to fly. For the first twenty- five years of aviation history, the world saw airplanes as crude machines, chugging and puffing to pull themselves above the ground. Lindbergh’s flight, though, imbued air travel with the magic and grace that earlier civilizations must have imagined when they speculated whether humans could ever fly. Because of who he was, with his good looks and refined personality, Lindbergh focused attention on the pilot, not the machine, tapping into dreams as old as the ancient Greek myth of Icarus, who made wings of wax that melted when he flew too close to the sun. In Lindbergh’s case, however, a single man was triumphant over nature, and people throughout the world recognized him as the model of a new age of technological wonder.

In medias res
In medias res is a Latin term meaning ‘‘in the middle of things.’’ It refers to the technique of beginning a story at its midpoint and then using various flashback devices to reveal previous action. Lindbergh does not use this technique throughout, but it does apply it in a small sense. The first chapter, ‘‘Karma,’’ drops readers into the middle of Lindbergh’s life, at the moment of his greatest triumph, in fact. Berg gives the facts about the crowds of people lining the streets of Paris, waiting for The Spirit of St. Louis to appear. By using this technique, Berg starts his story of Lindbergh’s life on a lively note, whetting readers’ appetites for the background of this event, buying attention that might otherwise dwindle as readers slog through the standard biographical fare of the subject’s ancestors, his childhood, and the first signs that he is bound for greatness. The book, in fact, does slip back almost immediately to the earliest chronological point of the Lindbergh saga, picking it up in the year 1859 at the beginning of Chapter Two. After starting in the middle of the action for one introductory chapter, the rest of this autobiography follows in standard time sequence, with the scene described in the first chapter occurring about a quarter of the way through the story.

Style
Many things are involved in understanding the style of a written work. Writers make choices about which words to use, which scenes belong where, and which perspective to view the events from. Usually, readers can also get a sense of a writer’s personality by noticing which information she or he chooses to give and which information is left out. What makes A. Scott Berg so well respected as a biographer is that his writing style does not overpower his subjects. He lets the story tell itself, with only the slightest indication of how the writer feels about the events he is describing. Because of the nature of biography, this can be an extremely diffi- cult feat: there is seldom enough recorded information to know all of the facts of a situation that is being reported, and some writers are tempted to fill in by speculating about what their subject might have felt or how things might have seemed. Berg is able to fill in the minute details because of his exhaustive research on any subject. He can speak of any particular situation from Lindbergh’s life from different perspectives because he has dug up the memoirs, letters, and public statements of other participants. He knows his subject thoroughly and so is able to give each moment in his book a feel of truth without having to draw attention to the facts, which he presents to speak for themselves. The fact that readers seldom take note of his writing style is proof that his knowledge of his material is thorough and authoritative.

Compare and Contrast

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1920s: In the prosperous postwar economy, people look for diversions to keep themselves entertained. The tremendous celebration after Lindbergh’s arrival in Paris is considered another reason to have a party.

Today: For entertainment, broadcasters have found that people like ‘‘reality’’ shows with danger involved, such as Survivor and When Animals Attack.

1927: The first federal agency for regulating airplane transportation is just a year old.

Today: The air travel industry is crucial to the nation’s economy, with many companies vulnerable to any disruption in business.

1927: The world is astounded that a person could be walking around in America one day and be in France thirty-three hours later.

Today: Airfreight companies routinely deliver letters between the two continents on a daily basis. The need for this has dropped since people are now sending information over the internet.

1930s: An enthusiastic amateur like Lindbergh could work with a Nobel Prize-winning scientist on a major medical development like the heart pump.

Today: Medical and technical training is so common and specific that there is little room for amateurs to become involved.

Media Adaptations

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• An abridged audiocassette version of Lindbergh, read by Eric Stoltz, is available from Random House Audio.

• Susan Hertog’s biography of Anne Morrow Lindbergh is available on audiocassette from Blackstone Audiobooks. It is read by Marguerite Gavin.

• The Arts and Entertainment Network has produced a video as part of their ‘‘Biography’’ series called Charles and Anne Lindbergh, available in 2000 on A&E Home Video.

• An older, less complete biography called Lindbergh, by Leonard Mosley and James Cunningham, is available on cassette from Books on Tape, Inc.

• Newsreel footage from the time of Lindbergh’s flight can be seen on Time-Life Video’s The Century of Flight: Epic Flights, 1919–1939, released in 1999.

• California Newsreel Corporation of San Francisco has released a videocassette called Legacy of a Kidnapping: Lindbergh and the Triumph of the Tabloids. This documentary, with journalist Lewis Lapham, traces the decline of journalistic standards, from the Lindbergh baby to the O. J. Simpson trial, the death of Princess Diana, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

• Brendon Gill’s 1985 book Lindbergh Alone is available on audiocassette, read by John MacDonald.

• The story of Lindbergh’s flight was told in the 1957 film Spirit of St. Louis, which was directed by Billy Wilder and starred James Stewart, Patricia Smith, and Arthur Space.

• Public Broadcasting System has produced, as part of their American Experience series, a video of the show Lindbergh, produced by Ken Burns and directed by Stephen Ives. It was originally broadcast in 1990.

Bibliography and Further Reading

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Sources
Allen, Jamie, ‘‘A. Scott Berg reveals the spirit of Lindbergh,’’ in www.cnn.com (September 25, 1998).

Bryant, Eric, et. al., ‘‘Lindbergh,’’ in Library Journal, Vol. 124, No. 1, January 1999, p. 154.

‘‘Lindbergh,’’ in Booklist, Vol. 95, March 15, 1999, p. 1295.

‘‘Lindbergh,’’ in Publishers Weekly, Vol. 245, No. 34, August 24, 1998, p. 38.

Morrow, Lance, ‘‘Lindbergh,’’ in Time, Vol. 152, No. 12, September 21, 1998, p. 103.

Morton, Desmond, A Short History of Canada, McClelland & Stewart, 1998, p. 214.

Stricherz, Mark, ‘‘Enigmatic Aviator,’’ in America, May 1, 1999, p. 26.

Tanenhaus, Sam, ‘‘Lindbergh,’’ in Commentary, Vol. 107, January 1999, p. 61.

Ward, Geoffrey C., ‘‘Fallen Eagle,’’ in the New York Times, September 27, 1998.

Further Reading
Gill, Brandon, Lindbergh Alone, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1977. Much less detailed than Berg’s biography, Gill’s book focuses most of its attention on the transatlantic flight.

Langewiesche, Wolfgang, Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying, Tab Books, 1990. This book, meant to serve as a primer for beginning pilots, helps readers understand the task that Lindbergh faced in flying the Spirit of St. Louis.

Lindbergh, Charles, The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1970. This book provides Lindbergh’s thoughts at a particularly trying time in his life when the country was turning against him and branding him a traitor and a coward.

Newton, James, Uncommon Friends: Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel and Charles Lindbergh, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1989. Uncommon Friends is written by a man who knew all of the persons referred to in its title. The book fits each of these men into the larger scheme of the early twentieth century.

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