Picks and Pans Review: Lindbergh
These days air travel from New York City to Paris is almost as routine as riding a commuter bus. But in 1927, when 25-year-old Charles A. Lindbergh crossed the pond solo in his tiny Spirit of St. Louis, he was immediately crowned as the first truly global celebrity. From his storybook wedding through the kidnap-murder of his baby son to his troubling contacts with Hitler's Third Reich before World War II, Lindbergh lived the life of an innocent caught in the headlights of history. His fame and his misfortune made him a target for paparazzi and newshounds until his death in 1974.
An aviation pioneer whose career spanned the achievements of the Wright brothers and the Apollo astronauts, Lindbergh was also a serious author, medical inventor, environmental activist and a sometime mystic. "After my death, the molecules of my being will return to the earth and the sky," he said. "I am of the stars." Award-winning biographer A. Scott Berg's definitive portrait of the Lone Eagle captures the bright adventure and dark controversy of one of the century's most astonishing lives. (Putnam, $30)
Bottom Line: Brilliant biography of a fabulous but flawed American hero