|Author:||A. Scott Berg|
|Publisher:||Putnam Publishing Group|
Bestselling author and National Book Awardwinner A. Scott Berg is the first and only writer to be given unrestricted access to the massive Lindbergh archives—more than two thousand boxes of personal papers, including reams of unpublished letters and diaries—and to be allowed freely to interview Lindbergh’s friends, colleagues, and family members, including his children and his widow, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The result is a brilliant biography that clarifies a life long blurred by myth and half-truth.From the moment he landed in Paris on May 21, 1927, Lindbergh found himself thrust on an odyssey for which he was ill-prepared—becoming the first modern media superstar, deified and demonized many times over in a single lifetime. Berg casts dramatic new light on the lonely, sometimes twisted childhood that formed the aviator’s character; the astonishing transatlantic flight and thrilling, then overwhelming aftermath; the controversies surrounding the trial of his son’s kidnapper, Lindbergh’s fascination with Hitler’s Germany and his leadership of America First; his remarkable unsung work in the fields of medical research, rocketry, anthropology, and conservation; and, at the heart of it all, his fascinating, complex marriage to Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a relationship filled with sudden joy and bitter darkness. In all, it is a most compelling story of a most significant life—the most private of public figures finally revealed with a sweep and detail never before possible. In the skilled hands of A. Scott Berg, this is Lindbergh the hero—and Lindbergh the man.
Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight from New York to Paris captured the imagination of a postwar generation hungry for heroes, and cemented an exalted spot for the 25-year-old pilot from Minnesota in the collective American imagination. A. Scott Berg’s thorough new biography of the aviator suggests that despite the public scrutiny that accompanied his every move until his death in 1974, Lindbergh remained an intensely private man. The son of ill-matched parents who separated when he was 6, he was painfully shy and emotionally guarded. “Aviation created a brotherhood of casual acquaintances … in which he felt comfortable,” writes Berg with characteristic perceptiveness.
Lindbergh’s wife, the writer Anne Morrow Lindbergh, gave Berg unrestricted access to her husband’s and her own voluminous personal papers—and he made good use of them to assess both the couple’s relationship and their activities. Probably the most startling revelation is a brief but candid discussion of Anne’s affair in the late 1950s with a New Jersey doctor, which helped assuage her need to vent emotions in a way her buttoned-up husband found insupportable. (During the horrendous days in 1932 when their 20-month-old son was kidnapped and killed, Berg notes, she never once saw Charles cry.) The biography is solid on all aspects of Lindbergh’s career, including his notorious urging that America stay out of World War II; Berg rebuts charges that Lindbergh was a Nazi or a traitor, but rightly criticizes the anti-Semitism latent in some of his speeches. With this book, Berg succeeds in surveying Lindbergh’s fascinating life and assessing its historic impact.