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Outline ReviewIn 1927, 25-year-old American aviator Charles Lindbergh earned international fame by making the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean (and won a prize of $25,000 in the bargain). This lively book, a publication of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, celebrates that great accomplishment in words and images. Museum curators Dominick Pisano and F. Robert van der Linden draw on the Smithsonian's holdings (among them Lindbergh's then-state-of-the-art monoplane, The Spirit of St. Louis) to offer a portrait of the famed pilot in the context of his time. They emphasize Lindbergh's calculated daring--he did not carry a parachute or heavy radio, for instance, reckoning that neither would be useful should he have to ditch at sea--and his abilities, unusual for a man of his age and the time. They also chart Lindbergh's progress from young flyer to world hero, considering his later career without shying away from its unpleasant aspects--notably, his early embrace of Adolf Hitler's regime and his insistence that the United States not take the side of England and France in the impending global war, at considerable cost to his reputation. Published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Lindbergh's flight and the centenary of his birth, this book makes a fine gift for aviation and history buffs. --Gregory McNamee
On May 21, 1927, in Paris, Charles Lindbergh alighted from his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, and entered history as the first person to complete a nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic. Now, in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Lindbergh's New YorkParis flight and the 100th anniversary of his birth, comes a fascinating new look at Lindbergh's life and the feat that made him an instant legend the world over.
The authors, both curators at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, stress the degree to which Lindbergh's achievement was grounded in his sophisticated grasp of aviation technology and his superb skills as a pilot. Illustrated with newly taken color photographs of the airplaneone of the most precious artifacts in the entire museumand archival photographs of Lindbergh throughout his life, this gripping account bursts with the excitement of the early, pioneering days of aviation.
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