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The Immortalists: Charles Lindbergh, Dr. Alexis Carrel, and Their Daring Quest to Live Forever

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  114 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews

His historic career as an aviator made Charles Lindbergh one of the most famous men of the twentieth century, the subject of best-selling biographies and a hit movie, as well as the inspiration for a dance step—the Lindy Hop—that he himself was too shy to try. But for all the attention lavished on Lindbergh, one story has remained untold until now: his macabre scientific c

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Kindle Edition, 362 pages
Published (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30)
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Betty
Nov 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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Michael
Jun 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Libraries
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
Brandon
Nov 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Bill Glover
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Nathan Alderman
Mar 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Sandy
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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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
Chris
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book. I would've given it a 5 star rating if the title wasn't slightly misleading. The title veers more towards a Frankensteinistic approach; however, it only briefly talks about how immortal life was sought after. Lindbergh was a very interesting man as he was a highly self-taught man who achieved great success in pretty much anything he put his mind to. I will buy this book and add it to my collection.
John
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 02, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Natalie
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Darren
Sep 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
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!
David W. Wood
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dennis Lee
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This inspiring little known history of two men who changed the modern world is a must read for anyone who ever wonders 'how did we get here from there?' Both men were deeply flawed, which is one reason the book kept me enthralled.
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.
Jon
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
gets a bit dry towards the end
Scott
Dec 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For my LJ review check out the following:

Science & Technology
Porsche
The subject matter is fascinating! But I don't much care for the way it's written.
BeerDiablo
Dec 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Tracie
Oct 25, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library_book
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.
Dot
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely worth reading. Many aspects of Lindbergh's life I was unaware of, such as medical research and his change-of-heart re eugenics. Sad, unhappy marriage though. Even heroes have warts.
Andy
Jul 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
John
audiobook,biography,history,nonfiction,transhumanism
Mike
May 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A chillingly delightful warning of the dangerously seductive appeal of science without morality.
Sheila
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Heather
rated it really liked it
Jun 30, 2012
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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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