cover image Charles A. Lindbergh: A Human Hero

Charles A. Lindbergh: A Human Hero

James Cross Giblin. Clarion Books, $22 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-395-63389-2

Candid, colorful and exceptionally clear in its presentation of complex issues, this biography will communicate to its readers the feverish excitement that surrounded Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) from the moment his plane landed in Paris in 1927 until his isolationist stance at the beginning of WWII robbed him of his popularity. Focusing on three major issues--the kidnapping of Lindbergh's son as well as the trans-Atlantic flight and Lindbergh's prewar politics--the book includes an overarching discussion of Lindbergh's adversarial relationship with the media and the problems created by his unprecedented celebrity. Throughout, Giblin provides readers with easy-to-understand explanations of the social context of his subject's life and the role he played in U.S. history. He theorizes, for example, that Americans enthusiastically embraced ""Lucky Lindy"" as a hero in part because the moral decline in the 1920s left many begging for a wholesome role model. At the same time, he doesn't forget to include trivia certain to hook the audience (referring to his long flight, the King of England took Lindbergh aside and asked ""Tell me, how do you pee?""). Like Barry Denenberg's recent An American Hero: The True Story of Charles Lindbergh, this volume thoughtfully weighs the controversial aspects of Lindbergh's career (e.g., accusations of being pro-Nazi) and examines his subject's flaws. His conclusion, that Lindbergh had ""more than his share of weaknesses, along with tremendous strengths,"" will leave the audience with a fresh appreciation of what it means to be a hero. Illustrated with 71 b&w photos. Ages 9-up. (Oct.)