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Lindbergh By A. Scott Berg

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Lindbergh by A. Scott Berg

  • Author A. Scott Berg talks about his book- Real Player Audio Clip
  • Transcripts of Brian Lamb interviewing author A. Scott Berg on December 20, 1998. Transcripts
  • First Chapter of "Lindbergh" By A. Scott Berg. GP Putnam's Sons Copyright 1998 A. Scott Berg. All rights reserved. ISBN: 0-399-14449-8. First Chapter of Lindbergh
  • CNN Book News about author A. Scott Berg book, Lindbergh. CNN Book News
  • www.thehistorynet.com book review of author A. Scott Berg book, Lindbergh. Book Review

Excerpts from Scott Berg's Lindbergh

Lindbergh's family history:

"For all his fascination with detail, Lindbergh never examined his family history closely enough to see that it included financial malfeasance, flight from justice, bigamy, illegitimacy, melancholia, manic-depression, alcoholism, grievous generational conflicts, and wanton abandonment of families. But these undercurrents were always there. And so this third-generation Lindbergh was born with a deeply private nature and bred according to the principles of self-reliance -- nonconformity and the innate understanding that greatness came at the inevitable price of being misunderstood."

In 1925, Lindbergh graduates first in his class from Army flying school:

"That night the new lieutenants enjoyed a farewell dinner in San Antonio, assembling for the last time. 'The gang' decided to remain in contact by circulating a round-robin letter, to which Lindbergh would contribute over the years. Except for rare chance encounters over his lifetime of travels, however, he would only see one or two Army classmates ever again. Lindbergh was already leading a compartmentalized existence, always packing light, carrying few people from one episode of his life to the next."

Following his New York-to-Paris flight, Lindbergh embarks on a three-month tour in the Spirit of St. Louis to promote aviation. After landing his plane in a Utah desert to spend the night, he has an epiphany:

"He realized he had been sentenced to a life as a public figure on a scale to which no man before him had ever been subjected. Feeling overexposed, overextended, and overexalted, he wished to 'combine two seemingly contradictory objectives, to be part of the civilization of my time but not to be bound by its conventional superfluity.'"

Lindbergh and Dr. Alexis Carrel, his Nobel Prize-winning colleague at the Rockefeller Institute, discuss eugenics:

"Lindbergh spent every available minute with his mentor; and for months his mind was Carrel's to mold. Sitting in the doctor's high-walled garden or by the fireplace late into the night, the two men discussed improving qualities within the human species and the population at large, through diet and reproduction. 'Eugenics,' Carrel wrote in Man, the Unknown, 'is indispensable for the perpetuation of the strong. A great race must propagate its best elements.' He and Lindbergh carried on such discussions over the course of the summer, delving into the subject of 'race betterment.' Unfortunately, similar discussions were raging throughout the Third Reich, a coincidence that would not be lost on future detractors of either Carrel or Lindbergh."

Lindbergh admires Nazi Germany:

"As late as April 1939 -- after Germany overtook Czechoslovakia -- Lindbergh was willing to make excuses for Hitler. 'Much as I disapprove of many things Hitler had done,' he wrote in his diary of April 2, 1939, 'I believe she [Germany] has pursued the only consistent policy in Europe in recent years. I cannot support her broken promises, but she has only moved a little faster than other nations ... in breaking promises. The question of right and wrong is one thing by law and another thing by history."

The effect of his efforts on behalf of America First on Lindbergh's reputation:

"Other debates in American history would later be recalled with at least an appreciation for the high-mindedness of their ideas; and other members of America First would bear no stigma for having been allied with that particular cause. But America First swiftly entered the annals of public discourse tainted; and Charles Lindbergh would thenceforth be contaminated, considered by many wrong-headed at best traitorous at worst."