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Enduring Courage:Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  46 reviews
The sensational true story of Eddie Rickenbacker, America's greatest flying ace.

At the turn of the twentieth century two new technologies—the car and airplane—took the nation’s imagination by storm as they burst, like comets, into American life. The brave souls that leaped into these dangerous contraptions and pushed them to unexplored extremes became new American heroes:...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by St. Martin's Press
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Benjamin Thomas
Eddie Rickenbacker, for me, has always been one of those names from 20th century history that I had heard of and even knew a tiny bit about…but not much more. I knew he was an American flying Ace from World War I and generally well regarded but have long wished to know more about him, his life and the times he lived in.

General George S. Patton famously said, “Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the v...more
Ronald Roseborough
Perhaps you’ve read the glowing stories of Eddie Rickenbacker’s high flying adventures in World War I or his early career in the fledgling sport of auto racing on the dirt tracks of the mid-west. This biography takes in all of that, with the thrills, danger, and exciting details that it deserves. The book also goes beyond the glitter and the glory to the solid facts that shaped a boy into a man and a man into a legend. When Eddie was about fourteen yeas old, his father was shot and killed, in no...more
Lori
I would give this a 3.5. I was a goodreads first reads winner of "Enduring Courage;Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed. By John F.Ross. this was the CD version.
this was pretty interesting to listen to.i learned a lot more about Eddie Rickebacker and what an amazing man he was! Eddie was born to immigrant parents he was very poor. once he went to school with shoes that did not match and was taunted by other kids. His dad was killed when Eddie was 13 and he left school...more
Jim
Later this year, the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1 will occur and, for the next four years, be remembered and written about through fiction, history, and biography as well video. Names of battles such as Belleau Wood, Ypres, and Verdun; warriors such as Pershing, Richthofen, and Foch; machines such as Fokker, SPAD, and Sopwith; and terms such as dogfight, ace, and fuselage will again come to life as stories of battles, politics, strategy, and personalities from a century ago will...more
R J Mckay
ENDURING COURAGE: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed by John F. Ross
The first quarter of the 20th century presented mankind with more wild, exciting technology than they could imagine. Every part of their life would quickly change forever. Bounding into this explosion strode Eddie Rickenbacker; a wide-eyed, curiosity driven boy who was obsessed with conquering this new world. His constant curiosity drove Eddie to excel at anything he tried; always learning everything b...more
P.e.
I had first heard about Eddie Rickenbacher when I was a youngster going around with my grandfather to his VFW meetings or gatherings, he had fought in World War One so as a young boy I remember reading a small book about his time flying in the war and a plane crash. I also remember a movie about his life but all I remember is the plane crash. This book goes into much greater detail about his life. Starting with his home life which really was awful, but he didn’t know any better until he got a li...more
Jud Hanson
The turn of the 20th century brought two amazing new technologies to America: the automobile and the airplane. These two new modes of travel created in the American mindset an insatiable desire for more and more speed. One American became particularly obsessed with how to drive faster and fly higher, leading Rickenbacker to become one of the best known race car drivers and fighting aces of his day. His extraordinary courage during World War I inspired his fellow fliers and was decisive in the Al...more
Amy Marbach
My dad is an aviation buff so I was familiar with the name Eddie Rickenbacker in that sense; ace pilot of World War I. But that is about all I really knew about him- that he flew biplanes in World War I. I am going to be honest- when in school I was never a huge fan of history. All those dates and names and places. But this book brings this era that we learned about in school to life for me with it's words in a way that has never been done before. About the excitement and the constant changing o...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"Enduring Courage" is the story of Eddie Rickenbacker, a true daredevil and renaissance man. Born in an age where people were just beginning to drive and own cars, Eddie thirsted for adventure and daring. From car racing to piloting dangerous planes, there was nothing that Eddie was not willing to do. This guy defined courage and his name has largely been lost to history. This book looks at his amazing life and gives you someone to cheer for!

Eddie Rickenbacker is one of those people where his li...more
Jay
This Rickenbacker biography comes about at a time when it seems very appropriate, as people that make things are being talked about in a good way again. Rickenbacker is portrayed as a mechanical and system thinker - he is able to figure out mechanical problems, and he is able to deal with bigger, systemic problems - finding solutions and optimizations for both. He is able to take his innate skills in this area and apply them multiple times in his life, first to automobiles as a racecar engineer...more
Mike McAdam
This book works on many levels... 1) as a biography of Eddie Rickenbacker, who raced cars in the 1910s then became a flying ace during World War I (no spoilers so that is all you are getting plot-wise), 2) a history book regarding early race cars and conditions and dogfights and planes during world war 1, and 3) a thriller. Eddie R. led an exciting life (including the surprising last chapter which is a tale of survival under extreme circumstances).

The book is well-written. It gets very detailed...more
Zeb Kantrowitz
What makes any man charge a machine gun nest which is decimating his fellow soldiers? What allows someone stuck in a ravine, cut off their own arm with a pen knife to survive? After crash landing, what makes some one walk out through twenty miles of hostile landscape to find help for those left behind? Courage is usually a onetime occurrence, where people find themselves doing unimaginable things to save themselves or others.

But what is enduring courage? Is it the ability to face every misfortun...more
Bob
I was intrigued by this book because Eddie Rickenbacker is one of the icons of Columbus, Ohio where I live, and where he grew up. We have an airport (former Air Force Base) which bears his name. And before I read this book I knew nothing about him except that he had some connection to flying.

John Ross's book helped me grasp the contribution Rickenbacker made, both at the dawn of the automobile and of air power as a force in war. More than that, he illustrated in Rickenbacker the finely defined m...more
Tom
While I have to admit that I only really focussed on Rickenbaker's WWI exploits in Ross' fine biography (he met my maternal grandfather during that European disaster and made a strong impression on him. They were both fliers and my grandfather called him the "quintessential American". I never was sure if that was a compliment but, after reading Ross, I fear it was not) but Ross is a fine writer, fair and full of gusto. While his championship of his hero is laudable, Ross is a bit harsh on his be...more
Shelly Donaghey
ENDURING COURAGE is the Eddie Rickenbacker story, both it’s title and the main theme of his remarkable life. Born in 1890 as a poor son of Austrian immigrants, by the time he was thirteen he was already making his way in life. That was when his hotheaded father had an accident and died. Eddie took it upon himself to provide for his mother and siblings. He appeared to completely skip over his adolescence and become a man, working at odd jobs until he fell into tinkering with what passed as the e...more
Rickie Hinrichs
From the first car ride given to Eddie by a car salesman in a ford model C Eddie was hooked on motorized transport. He found out what made a engine tick how to make it go faster. He learned to fly, become an ace in WWI, worked for Airlines went down in the Pacific, enduring 3 weeks in a life raft, through all of this he never stopped go forward. There some wonderful black and whit photos in the middle of this book, one caught my eye was one of the Red Baron who formed the flying circus in WWI to...more
Joan
“Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed” is a richly-detailed look at the life and career of aviator ace Eddie Rickenbacker. Exciting scenes of Indianapolis race cars and World War I dogfights propel the reader into the midst of Rickenbacker’s world and provides insight into the man, his strength, and his courage.

More than a simple “biography,” Ross’s work brings to life the mood of the people and the time in which Rickenbacker lived and provides the rea...more
Bea
I can understand some people thinking this book is wonderful, those people being the ones who understand cars, engines, planes and how they operate. There was too much detail about fixing car engines and explaining about plane motors for my taste. I didn't know that he was a race car driver in the Indy 500 before becoming a pilot.
There were lots of stories about Eddie Rickenbacker, but they read like a bunch of short stories all connected, with not much continuity, but the author did an enormous...more
Wyatt Johnson
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Historical nonfiction is not a genre that I typically read, but I've been wanting to branch out. I had heard of Rickenbacker, but knew nothing about him. This book pretty much hits it all!

It is divided up into 4 "books". The first, titled "Racing", details his rough upbringing and how he acquired his need for speed. The second, titled "Flying", focuses on him talking his way, against all odds, into becoming a pilot in the WWI military....more
Elizabeth
I am a librarian at a juvenile detention facility, and received this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.

This is a very accessible book, with an intimate writing style that turns a summary of a man's life into a journal-like narrative. The integrated quotes from Rickenbacker lend authenticity to this work, which might otherwise come across as overly-dramatized.

I think that my students, all females age 14-25, will enjoy reading this book. The maps that will be included in the final e...more
Rachael
If you love machines and speed, this book is for you.

The author supplies so much history behind car racing and the history of the improvement of flights. Many died in the early years of racing, leading to the improvements we have today.

Many heroes died in flight during WWI as it was in its infancy stage. There was so much to learn, and it came at a high cost. Reading how Rickenbacker helped in the improvements of both was fascinating. A few times the author takes a few trails away from him to...more
Glen
I won this book in a goodreads firstreads drawing.

An excellent biography of the race car driver, World War I flying ace, and big businessman. It was very interesting,not just because Rickenbacker lived an interesting life during interesting times, but because of the many almost extraneous facts sprinkled throughout the book. Just imagine at the turn of the 20 century, there were 40 automobile makers in the middle sized city of Columbus, alone. Just imagine if we had that kind of choice today!

My...more
Laura
I got my advance copy through Goodreads, and was looking forward to reading Eddie Rickenbacker's biography. This book is more than just a biography, though; it is also the tale of early 20th Century and how the Industrial Age changed America.
Rickenbacker himself seemed to be born with nerves of steel. Always placed on a pedestal as a classic hero, this book reveals some of the dirty truth about Eddie's early life of poverty, particularly after his father is killed after picking a fight with a h...more
Amy
I have to admit, I didn't know anything about Eddie Rickenbacker before I picked up this book. I don't remember learning anything about him in school and his name seemed only vaguely familiar. It was only as I started toting the book around, and people would comment on it, that I realized how well-known he was and still is. While reading his story, it put me in mind of Louis Zamperini and everything he went through. There is little wonder their ilk was nicknamed "the greatest generation." This w...more
 wade
The life and times of Eddie Rickenbacker are the backdrop of this interesting biography of America's great "ace" pilot during World War 1. I actually found his early years before the War the most fascinating as he struggles to grow up in Columbus, Ohio and then attempts to become a foremost auto racer during the tremendously dangerous infancy of that sport. All during his life he struggles for acceptance among people who look on him as "commoner" lacking the social graces of others. What he did...more
L.
Received free via Goodreads giveaway.

To say that Rickenbaker had an exciting life is an understatement. Rickenbaker was born in 1890 and grew to manhood during the time that automobile production began and men of courage followed the Wright Brothers into the air. Rickenbaker first found thrills in racing the early autos. However, with the entrance of the United States into World War One, he became part of its combat air operation. The planes, sold to America by the French, were little more than...more
Rick
I received John F. Ross’s “Enduring Courage” (St. Martin’s, 2014) through a Goodreads Advance Readers contest and enjoyed the biography of Eddie Rickenbacker. It is interesting to note that most everyone has heard the name Rickenbacker, but not many of us really know that much about the man. This bio helps flesh out his life and times.

Born in a day before the visual media would drive attention of daily events, Eddie Rickenbacker’s activities were transmitted mostly by newspaper and Ross uses th...more
Katherine Wacker

In Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed, John F. Ross skillfully tells the story of renowned World War I flying ace, Eddie Rickenbacker. Raised in a poor immigrant family in Ohio, Eddie suffered abuse that may have broken most children his age. Yet, despite these disadvantages, he was able not only to survive, but thrive. He became a brilliant mechanic, and his knowledge of cars led him to become one of the most famous race-car drivers of his time. In...more
Jim Gallen
Courage is a trait that endured throughout Eddie Rickenbacker’s life. Notice that the subtitle is “Eddie Rickenbacker And The Dawn Of The Age Of Speed.” This book is divided into three “books”. The first deals with Eddie’s life as a racecar driver, the second with his career and the third with his life after World War I with the focus on two air crashes in which his courage enabled him and some of his companions, to survive and recover.

Eddie’s life accomplishments were initially driven by his ma...more
Laura
I liked this book a lot, not a whole lot is written about Eddie Rickenbacker and his name probably would go unnoticed, although he truly was a pioneer in the racecar and aviation field. His childhood was a tough one, but like a phoenix he rose above the ashes and made the most of his life. When racing was newly introduced, as well as flying the biplanes, Eddie Rickenbacker pushed it to the maximum in his need for speed. I had never heard of him, but was intrigued with the words Enduring Courage...more
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John F. Ross is the former Executive Editor of American Heritage and Invention & Technology magazines and was a Senior Editor of Smithsonian magazine before that. On assignment, he has chased scorpions in Baja, dived 3,000 feet underwater in the Galapagos, dogsledded with the Polar Inuit in Greenland, lived with the Khanty reindeer herders in Siberia, and launched the most northern canoe trip...more
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“Though I live a thousand years,” recalled Pershing’s chief of staff, “I shall never forget that crowded hour.” 0 likes
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