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

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  315 Ratings  ·  92 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:
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by St. Martin's Press
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Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed gets 4 Stars from me but that is really my flying background influencing my view of the book. Non-pilots might find it lacking in some details and not telling a full story. The book covers Eddie's difficult and challenging early life through the end of WWI. Then it jumps to 1941 and Eddie's survival of a commercial plane crash, then quickly jumps to his secret mission from Hap Arnold to carry a message from Roosevelt ...more
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eddie Rickenbacker was born in 1891, just 5 years before my grandfather, and I’ve always regretted that I never asked my grandpa about what it was like when he first saw a “horseless carriage” or an airplane, but the descriptions from this book describe some of Eddie’s experiences which I imagine to be somewhat similar to what his must have been, and that made it all worthwhile for me.

More than that, though, Rickenbacker was a pretty incredible guy. I knew he was a heroic fighter pilot in World
David Eppenstein
I am giving this book three stars. Maybe it should be four but while the book was good and a well handled treatment of Rickenbacker I was left with the feeling that there was something missing. I do not know what it was but there was a lacking. I read this book on the recommendation of a GR friend and for that recommendation I am grateful. Maybe in the course of writing this review and reflecting on the book I will discover the answer to my query. Now what I did enjoy in this book is discovering ...more
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
I recall hearing about Eddie Rickenbacker way back when I was a kid. I knew that he was the highest scoring American ace of The Great War and that he had been a race car driver. As a fan of the Indianapolis 500, I knew that he had once owned the speedway and sold it to Tony Hulman following World War Two. That was about the extent of my knowledge of the man and his deeds. In retrospect, I find it amazing that I never thought to read more about him considering my love of racing and of military hi ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoir
Who doesn't know the name Eddie Rickenbacker?! And now for the man and story behind the name. John F. Ross has put together a biography that you couldn't make up if you tried. And not only Rickenbacker, the book touches on so many of the men during the early days of the automobile and airplane whose exploits were truly living life on the edge. A journalist, in writing of the early world of race car driving, described the drivers as men who had spent so much time right up against the wall of dest ...more
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Katherine Wacker
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing

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
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Think you're brave? Nuts! You ain't got nothing on Eddie R.
The best thing about this book is that it reminded me of the use of "Nuts!"
Beside that it is pretty cool for a biography. It does not document every part of Mr. Rickenbacker's life thankfully, only the action.

The opening scene of the book is amazing and is never topped later. It conveys the danger and lack of any type of comfort you would have flying an early airplane let alone in battle.

I found the parts about the birth of auto-racing
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of the better biographies I have ever read. Eddie Rickenbacker was more than just America's Great War Ace of Aces, more than one of the early successful race car drivers. He was first and foremost courageous, his strong will driving everything he did from a very early age. This determination allowed him to rise from mechanic to driver to salesman, enabled him to overcome the class differences among America's first pilots, and finally drove him to survive against all odds not one b ...more
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a life! I knew a bit about his man's racing career and his WWI exploits but this book(CD)was full of amazing adventures. Beyond exciting, the man defied death many times. It was 100 years ago that he was racing around Long Island in road races. The author did a great job of shining new light on the story of this racer, pilot, patriot, leader and captain of industry.
Carol Fiore
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book with a different perspective on WWI's best American ace. Being a licensed pilot myself, I thought the author was off on a few things, but generally a great read.
Quinn Lavender
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an amazing life this man lived. I was especially amazed at Rickenbacker's place in the history of early automobile racing - I already knew he was a WWI ace. The section on early automobiles and early racing felt almost like bonus content in this book. Conversely, the initial sections on Eddie's early life seemed unnecessarily detailed and long (this is a book about enduring courage and the age of speed, after all.) I was also surprised that, apart from the doomed military message-sending mi ...more
Patricia Bergman
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate to win this book from Goodreads.

I don't believe I have read a biography that truly describes a man who defines the word "courage" like Eddie Rickenbacker. This book tells the story of a young school drop-out who succeeded in becoming, not only an outstanding auto race driver, but one of the finest flying aces during WWI. In addition, he proceeded to become a successful airline business man and an advisor to top military officers during WWII. The descriptions of his harrowing acci
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating look at the early auto racing and military aviation age along with Eddie Rickenbacker's biography.

I found the prose abstruse much of the time or I would have rated this 5 stars for the very compelling content.
Jerry Walsh
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read. Did not know the story of Eddie. Born in Columbus OH, dirt poor. One of the early auto racers. Learned about the early race cars, danger of the tracks to drivers and spectators. My father was a fan. The air war in WWI and the junk planes they flew. Politics before WWII and then lost at sea for 2 weeks. What a story what a life. What a man
Kirby Letham
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best book I've read in a while.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Fascinating man with a fascinating story! Interesting.....
P.e. lolo
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jim Gallen
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Amy Marbach
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Shelly Donaghey
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, history, war
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
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Good book, but, as with many books, could probably have been a lot shorter with some of the material feeling a bit extraneous.
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Zeb Kantrowitz
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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