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The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh
Cover of The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh
The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh
WINNER OF THE 2021 YALSA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION FOR YOUNG ADULTS! SIX STARRED REVIEWS!Discover the dark side of Charles Lindbergh—one of America's most celebrated heroes and...
WINNER OF THE 2021 YALSA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION FOR YOUNG ADULTS! SIX STARRED REVIEWS!Discover the dark side of Charles Lindbergh—one of America's most celebrated heroes and...
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  • WINNER OF THE 2021 YALSA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION FOR YOUNG ADULTS!
     
    SIX STARRED REVIEWS!
    Discover the dark side of Charles Lindbergh—one of America's most celebrated heroes and complicated men—in this riveting biography from the acclaimed author of The Family Romanov.

    First human to cross the Atlantic via airplane; one of the first American media sensations; Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite; loner whose baby was kidnapped and murdered; champion of Eugenics, the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding; tireless environmentalist. Charles Lindbergh was all of the above and more. Here is a rich, multi-faceted, utterly spellbinding biography about an American hero who was also a deeply flawed man. In this time where values Lindbergh held, like white Nationalism and America First, are once again on the rise, The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh is essential reading for teens and history fanatics alike.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Chapter One

    In the Beginning

    The Origin Story

    On a sticky summer day in 1861, Charles Lindbergh's grandfather, August, accidentally cut off his left arm. It happened at the local sawmill. While guiding a log into the spinning blade, the young man slipped. Blood splattered across the room, and he saw both his arm and a slab of his back lopped off before he hurtled across the room. His neighbors wrapped him in a quilt, delivered him to his bed, then went for the preacher. They expected him to die.

    Lying there, gripping his shoulder socket with his right hand to stanch the blood, he stared out his bedroom window at the farm he'd carved from the Minnesota wilderness. August would not permit himself to die. His wound, he knew, was bad, so deep it exposed his beating heart and part of his lung. But he believed dying was the lazy way out, and August Lindbergh was anything but lazy.

    He'd come to America two years earlier to escape prison. Back in Sweden, where he'd been called Ola Månsson, he'd been a wealthy dairy farmer, as well as a member of the Swedish parliament and—­through his government position—­an officer of the state bank. But in 1858, political opponents accused him of embezzlement. Ola had responded to their claims with his typical irreverence. When prosecutors handed him a sheaf of legal documents in court, he'd ripped them in half, dropped his trousers, and used the pieces to wipe himself. The judges found him guilty.

    Ola, however, was not in court to hear their verdict. To everyone's shock—­most especially his wife and children's—­Ola had run off. With him went a solid gold medal once given to him by his constituents as a token of their esteem, as well as his twenty-­one-­year-­old mistress, Lovisa, and their seventeen-­month-­old son, Karl.

    Ten weeks later, Ola resurfaced in another courtroom, this one in Minnesota's Sixth District. Declaring his desire to become an American citizen (and "forgetting" to mention he was a fleeing felon), he gave officials his new name—­August Lindbergh. His wife, he said, was Louisa Lindbergh. And their son was Charles August Lindbergh, called C.A. for short.

    Thrilled to be in America rather than a Swedish jail, Ola-­now-­August settled into pioneer life. He traded his gold medal for a plow, built a log cabin, and began clearing trees. Lovisa-­now-­Louisa planted a garden, milked the cow, gave birth to a baby girl, and cried a lot. But to August's mind, life was good—­until the day of the accident.

    For months afterward, August lay in bed, refusing to give in to either pain or death. Because he was poor and isolated, with no medical care beyond an unlicensed and itinerant doctor, nothing could be done for him. When he was finally able to stand, he demanded to see his lost limb. Four-­year-­old C.A. brought it to him. Entwining the healthy fingers of his right hand with the stiff, dead ones of his left, August said to his arm, "You have been a good friend to me for fifty years. But you can't be with me anymore. So good-­by. Good-by, my friend."

    After placing his arm in a blanket-­lined box, he buried it in the garden.

    Then the stubborn farmer rigged up a belt with pockets and rings into which he could fit the handles of his plow, and got on with harvesting his crop. Soon he was doing as much with one arm as he used to do with two.

    w

    Charles Lindbergh never knew his paternal grandfather. August died ten years before his grandson was born. But the story of the old man's extraordinary gumption, told to Charles time and...

About the Author-

  • CANDACE FLEMING is the prolific and versatile author of many books for children and young adults. The Family Romanov received 6 starred reviews, won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was a Sibert Nonfiction Honor Book, and much more. Amelia, Lost received 4 starred reviews and won the Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction. The Lincolns also won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and many other prizes. Her many acclaimed picture books include Giant Squid, a Sibert Honor Book. Visit her on the web at candacefleming.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from December 1, 2019
    The story of a flawed, complicated man. The son of a distant Minnesota congressman and a demanding, well-educated mother, young Charles Lindbergh grew up shuttling among the family farm, his grandfather's Detroit home, and Washington, D.C. Intelligent but uninterested in school, he began flying at age 19, getting involved in barnstorming and becoming an Air Service Reserve Corps officer. He used a combination of mechanical aptitude and moxie to successfully cross the Atlantic in a 1927 solo nonstop flight and was instantly propelled into worldwide celebrity. Success came at tremendous cost, however, when his infant son was kidnapped and murdered. Lindbergh was also his own enemy: His infatuation with eugenics led him into overt racism, open admiration for Hitler, and public denunciation of Jews. Fallen from grace, he nonetheless flew 50 clandestine combat missions in the South Pacific. He became an advocate for animal conservation but also had three secret families in addition to his acknowledged one. Fleming (Eleanor Roosevelt's in My Garage!, 2018, etc.) expertly sources and clearly details a comprehensive picture of a well-known, controversial man. Her frequent use of diaries allows much of the story to come through in Charles' and his wife Anne's own words. The man who emerges is hateable, pitiable, and admirable all at the same time, and this volume measures up to the best Lindbergh biographies for any audience. A remarkable biography. (bibliography, source notes, picture credits, index) (Biography. 12-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 23, 2019
    Fleming (Strongheart) skillfully crafts a layered portrait of a controversial figure: Charles Lindbergh. Well-paced sections covering Lindbergh’s soaring popularity and plunging fall are divided into engaging segments. Passages about his early childhood establish his close relationship with his mother and the roots of his loner personality. In riveting detail and frequently quoting from Lindbergh’s diaries and his wife’s, Fleming relates his planning and execution of the solo transatlantic flight that made him the most famous man in the world, his marriage and the tragic kidnapping of his firstborn child, his obsession with engineering humankind’s immortality, and the existence of his multiple secret families. Fleming finely hones the stark contrast between Lindbergh’s rise and his fall from grace after he became fascinated with eugenics, sympathized with Hitler and the Nazis, and involved himself in America-first isolationist politics. A compelling biography of a flawed, larger-than-life man. Ages 12–up.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from January 1, 2020

    Gr 7 Up- Build a wall. America First. Foreign invaders. While these phrases echo standard Trump rally talking points, they were first uttered by Charles Lindbergh. Fleming digs into her subject's complicated life to uncover his true character. Following the birth of aviation, the skies were dangerous and unruly. Anyone who wanted to fly could. Lindbergh heartily accepted the challenge: as a showman, an army pilot, an airmail pilot, and finally as the first man to fly nonstop from New York to Paris. His unprecedented feat turned him into an overnight sensation and also marked the beginning of his antipathy toward the press. Unfortunately, his fame brought tragedy when his first child was kidnapped and murdered. What followed was the original "trial of the century." Fleming's moment-by-moment narration of Lindbergh's flight and the loss of his child evokes excitement and grief. But there is more to his story. Lindbergh was the creator of an artificial heart, an early environmentalist, an advocate of eugenics, a Nazi sympathizer, and a leader of the America First Committee. He derided a free press and blamed American Jewish people for leading the country into war. He glorified fascism while claiming to be a patriot. This biography, told in short, easy-to-read chapters, at times reads like a suspense novel. Fleming successfully deconstructs the public persona of Lindbergh and highlights how some of the aviator's core values (nationalism, xenophobia) echo the country's current political and social unrest. VERDICT A must-read. Drawing on primary sources, including Lindbergh's own journal, Fleming has crafted a cautionary tale of the downfalls of hero worship.-Cathy DeCampli, Haddonfield Public Library, NJ

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from January 1, 2020
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Though Charles Lindbergh achieved fame and adoration as an accomplished American aviator, he was an overwhelmingly complicated figure. In an eminently readable, at times thrilling, and occasionally deeply disturbing biography, the widely acclaimed Fleming (Amelia Lost, 2011) returns to the skies. In the book's first section, she tracks Lindbergh's meteoric rise to American hero, from his solo flight from New York to Paris to his marriage to Anne Morrow and the kidnapping and subsequent death of their child. In the second half, she maps the fall: Lindbergh's growing disgust with the American press and his anti-Semitism led to an increased admiration of Hitler, and public opinion shifted as he advocated for isolationism and white nationalism. Throughout runs a common thread: as he crossed the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis, as he searched for his missing son, as he argued for eugenics and the environment in turn, Lindbergh was a man obsessed with ending death. Fleming, who takes care to shine the spotlight on Anne as an individual, states that she wanted Charles and Anne to speak for themselves; included dialogue propels the narrative and was taken directly from their journals and letters. Fleming places, in his historical context and ours, a man of intense contradictions. Absorbing and distressing in turns, this utterly prescient capture of a life?and the lives it influenced?is essential in classrooms and for history buffs alike.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • The Wall Street Journal Praise for THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLES LINDBERGH:

    "There is no amped up moralizing in this fascinating chronicle...Reprehensible, estimable, complex: Ms. Fleming's portrait reveals a man of many parts."
  • Booklist, starred review "Absorbing and distressing in turns, this utterly prescient capture of a life--and the lives it influenced--is essential in classrooms and for history buffs alike."
  • Publishers Weekly, starred review "A compelling biography of a flawed, larger-than-life man."
  • School Library Journal, starred review "A must-read. Drawing on primary sources, including Lindbergh's own journal, Fleming has crafted a cautionary tale of the downfalls of hero worship."
  • Bulletin, starred review "[A] smoothly written, even-handed biography."
  • Horn Book, starred review "A historical narrative that couldn't feel more contemporary."
  • Kirkus Reviews, starred review


    Praise for THE FAMILY ROMANOV:
    "A comprehensive picture of a well-known, controversial man."
  • Booklist, starred review "For readers who regard history as dull, Fleming's extraordinary book is proof positive that, on the contrary, it is endlessly fascinating, absorbing as any novel, and the stuff of an altogether memorable reading experience."

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    Random House Children's Books
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