The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight

Author: Winston Groom

Price: $10.94

Paperback: 464 pages

Publisher: National Geographic (September 15, 2015)

Language: English

Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches

1. Introduction

Written by gifted storyteller Winston Groom (author of Forrest Gump), The Aviators tells 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.

This is the fascinating story of three extraordinary heroes who defined aviation during the great age of flight. These cleverly interwoven tales of their heart-stopping adventures take us from the feats of World War I through the heroism of World War II and beyond, including daring military raids and survival-at-sea, and will appeal to fans of Unbroken, The Greatest Generation, and Flyboys. With the world in peril in World War II, each man set aside great success and comfort to return to the skies for his most daring mission yet. Doolittle, a brilliant aviation innovator, would lead the daring Tokyo Raid to retaliate for Pearl Harbor; Lindbergh, hero of the first solo flight across the Atlantic, would fly combat missions in the South Pacific; and Rickenbacker, World War I flying ace, would bravely hold his crew together while facing near-starvation and circling sharks after his plane went down in a remote part of the Pacific. Groom's rich narrative tells their intertwined stories--from broken homes to Medals of Honor (all three would receive it); barnstorming to the greatest raid of World War II; front-page triumph to anguished tragedy; and near-death to ultimate survival--as all took to the sky, time and again, to become exemplars of the spirit of the "greatest generation."

About the Author

WINSTON GROOM is the author of 14 previous books of nonfiction and fiction, including Shiloh 1862, Vicksburg 1863, Patriotic Fire, Shrouds of Glory, Forrest Gump, and Conversations with the Enemy (with Duncan Spencer), which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He lives with his wife and daughter in Point Clear, Alabama.

2. Comment

2.1 By Jess Hayes on November 7, 2013

Format: Hardcover

Winston Groom's prose never disappoints, and this gripping history of three aviation giants is no exception. Following the lives of Charles Lindberg, Jimmy Doolittle, and Eddie Rickenbacker, this engaging account provides a personal angle to this pivotal era in human innovation and heroism. Although aviation experts may not be surprised by much of the information herein, this is a nonetheless well-researched and well-written account that I found very fresh and insightful. Although it may be difficult to imagine a time when air travel was in its early stages, Groom's storytelling brings this unforgettable era in history alive with an intriguing attention to detail that will keep you turning the pages. Along the likes of An Aviator's Wife, I find this a fine specimen of non-fiction that every aviation enthusiast or history buff should read.

2.2 By Richardson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 29, 2013

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )

For me this is like a Paul Harvey radio broadcast where he liked to enlighten listeners to "the rest of the story" as it were. Now I'm sure true historians and history buffs will not be shocked or surprised by the contents of this book. There are plenty of large volume bios and autobiographies available like Lindbergh, I Could Never Be So Lucky Again: An Autobiography of James H. ""Jimmy"" Doolittle with Carroll V. Glinesand Rickenbacker: An Autobiography.

The three aviators featured are Eddie Rickenbacker,first fame as a champion race car driver and world war I hero, Charles Lindbergh , he of the first non stop flight across the Atlantic in 1927 and Jimmy Doolittle who pioneered flying without the aid of visuals , just by instruments in 1929.

This reader was familiar with the highlights only of each of these great aviators/men and so this book which touched on their early career heroics and then followed through with lesser known but not lesser interesting or lesser important involvements in WWII all in a snappy 400 plus pages was a very enlightening read and just the right length. As I mentioned earlier if anyone wants to get truly intimate with finer details on any of these pilots those books are available but the beauty of this book is that it takes three amazing men whose stories work well in a single volume and I guess you could liken this to a "greatest hits" so to speak.

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