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The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh & the Rise of American Aviation (Pivotal Moments in American History)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The Flight of the Century sheds new light on one of America's fascinatingly enigmatic heroes and most transformative moments.
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published July 21st 2010 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published July 20th 2010)
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Paul
Although I came of hero-worshipping age in the 1950s, long after Lindbergh had exposed himself as a Nazi-loving racist and anti-Semite, all I knew about was his heroic flight and a little bit about his efforts to explore routes for the budding airline industry. The bad stuff wasn't discussed, at least in the schools I went to. I read Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis not long after it was first published, and that certainly didn't address his political side. Basically, I grew up believing Lindberg ...more
Brian
Flight of the Century covers the life and impact of Charles Lindbergh and the Atlantic Crossing that created a modern celebrity culture around an instant hero. Although others would complete the same feat in weeks, the fact that Lindbergh did it alone and without the advanced technologies of the others led to a special place in his fame. From his humble beginnings as a famer and son of a disillusioned politician coupled with the scientific training of his grandfather Lindbergh grew up with a sha ...more
Leah K
The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of the American Aviation by Thomas Kessner

★★★★

While I know of Lindbergh’s achievement (who doesn’t?), I knew nothing about the man or what it took to get him into the air. My knowledge of aviation is very limited. This book was a great book to start on! It had great information about Charles Lindbergh and plenty of history of flying through the ages. It kept my attention from beginning to end, something many of the history books I’ve read
...more
Ben
A good description of Lindbergh's early life and the preparation leading up to the world's first nonstop transatlantic flight. Today, we remember Lindbergh's accomplishment as a big deal, but we don't fully appreciate why. His competition were professionally funded, full complement flight crews - large, decked out planes with several people in each. Lindbergh thought small. He took a small craft and stripped away everything that was not absolutely necessary, including seat upholstery, parachutes ...more
Janine Spendlove
A must read for anyone involved with or interested in aviation. I'd always heard about "Lucky Lindy" and the "Spirit of St Louis" but I never realized what a close thing the Atlantic crossing truly was, nor the crazy fervor afterward! Aside from a look into, what I discovered was a very layered and very imperfect man (had no idea he had Nazi leanings prior to this book, but then neither did I know how important to the birth of aviation/the airlines he was - I only knew him with regard to the Atl ...more
GT
Loved this book. Well written, concise, very good at describing not just what Lindbergh achieved, but the times, people, and context of what America, and the world were going through and why Lindbergh resonated with so many. I came away renewed in my appreciation for his bravery, determination, and passion, but with a better perspective on his many flaws.

I rate it 4 stars.

mfgavin's rating criteria:

★ = Horrid waste of time
★★ = May be enjoyable to some, but not me
★★★ = I am glad I read it
★★★★ = Ve
...more
Penny
Charles Lindberg is well known for his flight to Paris, the kidnapping and murder of his son and the unorthodox views he took on later in life. This book provides extensive documentation (end notes) about his life prior to the historic flight and the years thereafter.

Although the detail of his life with a few years after the flight doesn't seem to be as richly documented (he was a very private person to begin with) there's plenty there to offer insight.

An interesting read of a time somewhat for
...more
Erin Webber
A riveting account of the Lone Eagle's record-breaking solo flight from New York to Paris, beginning with his childhood and continuing until the end of the "Lindbergh Era". Intriguing and balanced discussion of the forces that led to Lindbergh's unique personality and to the world's truly unprecedented reception of his achievement.
Mike Mittlestat
3.5 stars. Proceeds in fits and starts. Some very interesting insights into this enigma of a man but it bogs down in places as the author waxes philosophical.
Hans
Very interesting account of a side of Charles Lindbergh that I was completely unaware of.
Donald Elton
Fills in gaps in other historical biographies about Charles Lindburg
Hal
comments later.
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