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The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh

By: Candace Fleming

First human to cross the Atlantic via airplane; one of the first American media sensations; Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite; loner whose baby was kidnapped and murdered; champion of Eugenics, the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding; tireless environmentalist. Charles Lindbergh was all of the above and more.

Here is a rich, multi-faceted, utterly spellbinding biography about an American hero who was also a deeply flawed man. In this time where values Lindbergh held, like white Nationalism and America First, are once again on the rise, THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLES LINDBERGH is essential reading for teens and history fanatics alike.

Bibliography. Source notes. Index. Black-and-white photo insert.

ISBN: 9780525646556

JLG Release: May 2020


Sensitive Areas: Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Discrimination: Religious
Topics: Charles A , Lindbergh (1902–1974) , Air pilots , Biography , Far right politics , US history , Eugenics

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Awards & Honors

2021 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Winner
Publisher's Weekly Best Young Adult Books of 2020

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Magazine*, School Library Journal*, Publishers Weekly*, Booklist*

School Library Journal

Build a wall. America First. Foreign invaders. While these phrases echo standard Trump rally talking points, they were first uttered by Charles Lindbergh. Fleming digs into her subject’s complicated life to uncover his true character. Following the birth of aviation, the skies were dangerous and unruly. Anyone who wanted to fly could. Lindbergh h Build a wall. America First. Foreign invaders. While these phrases echo standard Trump rally talking points, they were first uttered by Charles Lindbergh. Fleming digs into her subject’s complicated life to uncover his true character. Following the birth of aviation, the skies were dangerous and unruly. Anyone who wanted to fly could. Lindbergh heartily accepted the challenge: as a showman, an army pilot, an airmail pilot, and finally as the first man to fly nonstop from New York to Paris. His unprecedented feat turned him into an overnight sensation and also marked the beginning of his antipathy toward the press. Unfortunately, his fame brought tragedy when his first child was kidnapped and murdered. What followed was the original “trial of the century.” Fleming’s moment-by-moment narration of Lindbergh’s flight and the loss of his child evokes excitement and grief. But there is more to his story. Lindbergh was the creator of an artificial heart, an early environmentalist, an advocate of eugenics, a Nazi sympathizer, and a leader of the America First Committee. He derided a free press and blamed American Jewish people for leading the country into war. He glorified fascism while claiming to be a patriot. This biography, told in short, easy-to-read chapters, at times reads like a suspense novel. Fleming successfully deconstructs the public persona of Lindbergh and highlights how some of the aviator’s core values (nationalism, xenophobia) echo the country’s current political and social unrest. A must-read. Drawing on primary sources, including Lindbergh’s own journal, Fleming has crafted a cautionary tale of the downfalls of hero worship.

Horn Book

Stitching together important life events, insightful anecdotes, and primary sources, Fleming (Amelia Lost, rev. 3/11; The Family Romanov, rev. 7/14) creates a cohesive and comprehensive biography of a charismatic, flawed figure. Charles Lindbergh made history with his 1927 solo transatlantic flight from New York City to Paris, and the Stitching together important life events, insightful anecdotes, and primary sources, Fleming (Amelia Lost, rev. 3/11; The Family Romanov, rev. 7/14) creates a cohesive and comprehensive biography of a charismatic, flawed figure. Charles Lindbergh made history with his 1927 solo transatlantic flight from New York City to Paris, and the resulting fame kept him in the public eye for the rest of his life. Notoriously, Lindbergh and his wife were victims of the “Crime of the Century,” when their infant son was kidnapped and murdered. Fleming examines the forces that shaped Lindbergh, from his early childhood to his extraordinary work ethic to his keen appreciation of all things scientific and mechanical. But there was a dark side to Lindbergh, too. From an early age he considered himself a “superior specimen,” physically and genetically; chose friends out of expediency; lived a life ruled by exacting checklists. His marriage was marred by sexism, misogyny, narcissism, and adultery, while his political views were even worse: a Nazi sympathizer, he unapologetically espoused racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy. Fleming employs a deft hand here: she doesn’t draw contemporary parallels, but they will be easy enough for young readers to see (especially in the prologue, which describes a 1941 America First rally virtually indistinguishable from a Trump rally). It’s not easy to write the biography of a person who elicits, by turns, admiration, sympathy, and revulsion, but Fleming has accomplished this juggling act, and in doing so, she has created a historical narrative that couldn’t feel more contemporary. A bibliography, source notes, and an index are appended; a twenty-four-page section of black-and-white photographs is inserted in the center.

Book Details

ISBN

9780525646556

First Release

May 2020

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

B

Trim Size

9 1/3" x 6"

Page Count

384

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 980L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Library edition with trade jacket added

Publisher

Schwartz & Wade

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Discrimination: Religious

Topics

Charles A, Lindbergh (1902–1974), Air pilots, Biography, Far right politics, US history, Eugenics,

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