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The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy…

The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and… (2013)

by Winston Groom

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
As a pilot and aviation aficionado, my familiarity with the lives and exploits of Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles Lindbergh and Jimmy Doolittle gave me a case of literary empty field myopia, where at first I did not see and appreciate the story telling craftsmanship of Winston Groom (author of Forest Gump). Like a Bach fugue, The Aviators tells three biographical tales simultaneously, taking the reader from rag wings to aluminum overcast. The result being that these giants of aviation somehow came off as even more larger than life for me. ( )
  mtbass | Mar 28, 2019 |
The author tells the stories of three aviators of the first half century and what their impact on aviation was as well as their impact on Americans. Well written, though occasionally, seemed to add a bit of his bias into the accounts. ( )
  addunn3 | Jul 30, 2018 |
I found this book at a library book sale and didn't read the subtitle to realize it was mainly about the history of three men in aviation history rather than an overview of aviation history. Still, it was interesting to learn about these aviation pioneers, their backgrounds, and how they advanced aviation. ( )
  JenniferRobb | May 18, 2018 |
I saw a review of this book in the WSJ and added it to my list of books to check out at the library. I am glad I did, Groom has written a very readable look at three American aviation pioneers and their accomplishments. All three men did not have a father in the picture they came from poor backgrounds but did have a strong mother figure.

Rickenbacker, was a WWI flying ace and he started commercial aviation in the US. He made and lost fortune in the great depression but came back to create another. He was called upon by his government many times to help with tour to bring up troop morale. He pushed for more to happen with aviation in the USA but many felt it was a fools folly at the time and that air power was not feasible or important.

Lindbergh, as we many of us know made the trans Atlantic solo flight from New York to Paris. The flight was a challenge to see how far a plane could fly a look to the future someday of commercial aviation. There was a $25000 prize awarded to the man who accomplished the feat. Lindbergh made his money barnstorming and had to go to friends to help raise the money he needed to build the plane to attempt this flight. Others had already tried and died trying to accomplish the trip. He was in a race against at least two other teams who had announced their intentions. It was this successful flight that threw Lindbergh into the limelight of the press and the paparazzi of the time period. They were so ridiculous on one occasion to get a picture they ran over a family dog showing no signs of concern or care for what they had done. Lindbergh grew to hate and his efforts to avoid the press led the press to write whatever if felt wether it was true or not. Groom takes the time to give Lindbergh his day in court for speeches that were taken out of context or missed what Lindbergh was trying to point out. Before WWII, LIndbergh was with those that did not want to get dragged into WWII, the majority of the country was war weary and still recovering financially from WWI and the Great Depression. Many in Roosevelt's cabinet including Roosevelt wished to stomp the life out of Lindbergh.

Dolittle, led an air raid against Tokyo which turned the tide of the WWII in the allies favor. His air raid combined with cryptographers who finally figured out the Japanese code helped to close the gap and eventually win the Pacific Theatre of the war.

All three men allowed themselves to be human guinea pigs in various aspects of aviation to show that it could be done and that they themselves would not ask anyone else to do it unless they themselves did it too. They were adventurers, heroes and of course men who were flawed but who all had a strong love for their country and who were willing to die for their country.

I will be adding this book to my own library what a great reference on these men. Highly recommend! ( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
This book intertwines the lives of three great American aviators: Lindbergh, Doolittle and Rickenbacker. They are all known for individual events that changed history and this book provides the other parts of their stories and describes how those changes were institutionalized by their actions during the rest of their lives. I thought that Groom did a good job with Rickenbacker and Doolittle, but did not describe the controversy around Lindbergh adequately. I was; however, enlightened by the other things that he did during his lifetime...including flying combat during WWII as a civilian. ( )
  buffalogr | Sep 28, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Winston Groomprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won.-Walt Whitman (1865)
For Theron Raines (1925-2013), author's representative. For thirty-five years, a mentor, confidant, business partner, and friend: Well done.
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In the murky, early years of the twentieth century, when flight was still in its infancy, Americans flocked to air shows and "flying circuses" to marvel at flying machines and ponder man's conquest of the air.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Explores "the saga of three extraordinary aviators--Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker, and Jimmy Doolittle--and how they redefine heroism through their genius, daring, and uncommon courage"--

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