Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh & the Rise of American Aviation” as Want to Read:
The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh & the Rise of American Aviation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Flight of the Century, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Flight of the Century

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 237)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
comments later.
Sandi marked it as to-read
Feb 28, 2015
Tracy Spinks
Tracy Spinks marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2015
Lynette Aanerud
Lynette Aanerud marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2015
Holly Brink
Holly Brink marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2015
Norman Peires
Norman Peires marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2015
Mike Bristol
Mike Bristol marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2015
Karen marked it as to-read
Jan 16, 2015
Loretta Denton
Loretta Denton marked it as to-read
Jan 04, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History
  • The Siege of Washington: The Untold Story of the Twelve Days That Shook the Union
  • The General: Charles De Gaulle And The France He Saved
  • Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age
  • The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered
  • Heroes of the Holocaust: True Stories of Rescues by Teens
  • Heinrich Himmler: The Sinister Life of the Head of the SS and Gestapo
  • Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed the Course of World War II
  • The Search for Nefertiti: The True Story of an Amazing Discovery
  • On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery
  • Sipping from the Nile: My Exodus From Egypt
  • Angry Mobs and Founding Fathers: The Fight for Control of the American Revolution
  • From a Name to a Number: A Holocaust Survivor's Autobiography
  • Another Quiet American: Stories Of Life In Laos
  • Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century
  • Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man
  • Silver Like Dust: One Family's Story of America's Japanese Internment
  • The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight

Other Books in the Series

Pivotal Moments in American History (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam
  • Brown V. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy
  • Rainbow's End: The Crash of 1929
  • Washington's Crossing
  • Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800
  • All Shook Up: How Rock 'n' Roll Changed America
  • The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America (Pivotal Moments in American History)
  • James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights
  • Storm over Texas: The Annexation Controversy and the Road to Civil War (Pivotal Moments in American History (Oxford))
  • Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice
The Golden Door: Italian and Jewish Immigrant Mobility in New York City Capital City: New York City and the Men Behind America's Rise to Economic Dominance, 1860-1900 Fiorello H. La Guardia and the Making of Modern New York Fiorello H. LaGuardia Today's Immigrants, Their Stories: A New Look at the Newest Americans

Share This Book