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The Immortalists
 
by
David M. Friedman
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The Immortalists

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  95 ratings  ·  26 reviews
David Friedman tells the story of celebrity aviator Charles Lindbergh and Nobel Prize-winning surgeon Alexis Carrel's five-year-long quest to build a machine that could keep organs alive outside the body.
Kindle Edition, 362 pages
Published (first published 2007)
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Betty
Nov 02, 2008 Betty rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science, history, Lindburgh fans
This is truly an amazing book. I found it very interesting right through. The story of Charles Lindbergh in particular is almost 3 separate lives, or maybe even 4, and we are taken through each part with the same thoroughness and attention to detail. Dr. Carrel as well lead a very fascinating life, ahead of his time by about 70 years, but the two men’s lives mesh in an almost fantastical way.
Beginning with Lindbergh’s flight as almost an aside, it was mostly used to set the theme of the effect t
...more
Michael
As I don’t get out much, I knew exactly four things about Lindbergh (and nothing whatsoever about Carrel). I knew about his solo flight, I knew he solicited much of the funding for this from members of St Louis’s Noonsday Club, I had some fleeting knowledge about the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, and I was told that his wife donated his library to Yale, not through any altruistic, scholarly motives but as a vehicle to get all of his crap out of the house to eliminate all physical reminders of “that ...more
Arapahoe Library District
Two unlikely partners, Charles Lindbergh, the famed aviator and the French Nobel Prize winner and surgeon, Dr. Alexis Carrel an early organ transplant specialist work together exploring ways to achieve human immortality. Their experiments were tied to a mutual desire to achieve a superior race, so, it was no surprise that Lindbergh developed a fascination for the Nazis. After World War II, Lindbergh reflects on his earlier beliefs and to his credit, openly admits he had erred. Having seen the ra ...more
Bill Glover
Charles Lindbergh, an authentic, iconic American asshole. Chuck was a lifelong believer and defender of eugenics and anti-Semite, who often praised European blood’s superiority over Asian races. This book proves how someone with a high degree of technical proficiency can miss the mark by a country mile when it comes to big picture ideas.
Lindbergh and his buddy, Dr. Alexis Carrel tried to ‘defeat death’. As an engineer, Lindbergh took a view of the body as a machine comprised of components that
...more
Brandon
A very thorough and engaging chronicle of the work and friendship between two brilliant and polarizing historical figures, especially of Lindbergh's life post-trans Atlantic flight.
Sandy
This is my 7th book on Lindbergh, several before Scott Berg's Pulitzer Prize biography. Friedman gives more depth to understanding of Lindbergh's daliance with elitism and/or racism. Charles had a less than stellar formal education (dropped out of Wisconsin) and when exposed to fame and married to Anne Morrow (well read, educated and lettered; her books won Pulitzer Prizes), Charles expanded his intellectual horizons. Friedman shows the reader how the Lone Eagle's involvement with Nobel Prize wi ...more
Nathan Alderman
Jul 29, 2008 Nathan Alderman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs, science geeks
Charles Lindbergh was a global celebrity, a daring aviator, and -- as this book surprisingly reveals -- an unsung mechanical genius, even from early childhood. Alexis Carrel was a brilliant surgeon, capable of sewing together tiny veins with his bare hands and naked eyes, who ran an eerie mad-science institute where the doctors dressed in black and chicken hearts were kept alive and pumping for years. Neither of them, at least in aggregate, was really all that fond of Jews -- or anyone who wasn' ...more
Patricia
Charles Lindbergh (yes, that guy who was the first to fly across the Atlantic) understood engines and valves and wondered: Why can't human heart valves be repaired & replaced over and over the same way engine valves can? Could a person live forever?

While recognizing Lindbergh's aviation success, Friedman focuses on the years of scientific study performed in the years following that famous flight. When Col. Lindbergh and partner Dr. Carrel ask themselves who should be eligible of an immortal
...more
Natalie
Fascinating. I had no idea that Lindbergh had his hand in so many different things. Not only was he a world-famous pilot, but he also created the groundwork for regenerative medicine and his device allowed for the first artificial heart. He also dappled in Nazism and environmentalism, which shocked me. Crazy stuff.
David W. Wood
The remarkable stories of the two larger-than-life personalities that feature in this audiobook have a great deal to say to all thoughtful modern-day technoprogressives, transhumanists, futurists, and life-extensionists. Frequently surprising. Highly recommended.
Jbsfaculty
I new very little about Charles Lindberg beyond the most well known tidbit, and his relationship with Alex Carrel, who I also only knew form textbook shorthand, and his science & eugenics was eye opening.
Carolyn
I don't know much about early 20th century America (or don't remember much from high school) but this book was an interesting look at one of the biggest names of the era- Charles Lindbergh. The Immortalists follows Lindbergh in his quest for immortality along with Nobel Prize winning scientist, Dr. Alexis Carrel. Most of their ideas and experiments seem like something out of a science fiction novel. Lindbergh's theories took a sinister turn when he got involved with the Germans before WWII which ...more
John
Absolutely the best book I have read in years.. Fascinating and deeply disturbing about the lives of two people that had a vision to live forever.. Great insights into Lindbergh’s and Alexis Carrel’s vision of a super race…Lindbergh’s inventions and Carrels thinking were ahead of their time. Some of there ideas really hit home while the next sentence will make you think how can they believe in that!!!
Aosta
Fascinating look at a public "hero" who became A scientist and public speaker. Initially, a fan of the Nazi regime and eugenics, Lindbergh became a WWIi pilot. He teamed with Carrel in some ghoulish experiments thinking they could find life eternal, however their experiments did influence others in the scientific field as regards to organ transplants.
Daniel
A little clunky at times, but it's a fascinating account of how Charles Lindbergh's racial theories were nurtured by his pioneering laboratory work with the Nobel Prize-winning surgeon (and monomaniac) Alexis Carrel. The very fact that Lindbergh did some truly groundbreaking scientific work was a total surprise to me.
Caroline
This book was highly recommended by a good friend; she was amazed. While the story does upend some of the preconceived notions I had of Charles Lindberg (who knew he believed in eugenics?) I didn't find it very riveting and am having a terrible time finishing the darn thing!
Darren
When someone says Charles Lindbergh, you probably don't think of one of the men who helped pioneer mechanical organs, but he did. Also interesting is how close Carrel and Lindbergh came to endorsing some of the practices of Nazi Germany.
Andy
A fascinating look into the life and times of Charles Lindbergh, the science and ambitions of Dr. Alexis Carrel, and the advances to technology provided by two men in search of answers.
BeerDiablo
Good insight into more than just Lindbergh but the world during the 1930s to post WWII. A bit long but it's also easy to skim as the author is repetitious in details.
Sheila
An interesting insight into the life of Charles Lindbergh that I never knew. The book protrays a very different man from the one we learn about in history.
Scott
For my LJ review check out the following:

Science & Technology
Tracie
I need somebody else to read this book so that I can discuss things! Like how much of a crazy em effer Charles Lindbergh was.
Mike
A chillingly delightful warning of the dangerously seductive appeal of science without morality.
Porsche
The subject matter is fascinating! But I don't much care for the way it's written.
John
audiobook,biography,history,nonfiction,transhumanism
Jon
gets a bit dry towards the end
Mr Wesley
Mr Wesley marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2015
Gina Whitlock
Gina Whitlock marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
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190611
David M. Friedman has written for Esquire, GQ, and Rolling Stone, and was a reporter for New York Newsday and the Philadelphia Daily News. His first book, A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis, was published in more than a dozen countries. He is also the author of the widely acclaimed The Immortalists: Charles Lindbergh, Dr. Alexis Carrel, and Their Daring Quest to Live Forever. He li ...more
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“People have argued about God and government for centuries, and still they don't agree. But science, confronts opinion with facts.” 3 likes
“Too much light inhibits the activity of the brain", Carrel said. "Surely you've noticed that the world's great civilizations have formed far above the equator, where there is much less direct sunlight than in tropical regions".” 1 likes
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