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Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 07, Bob rated it it was amazing. Most people have heard of Charles Lindbergh because of either the murder of his son or in relation to his flight. You may also have heard that he was a Nazi sympathizer, or somehow did something wrong in World War II. That is total nonsense, as this wonderful journal makes very clear.
There is no time here to go through a long biographical sketch, but I'll go into one common misconception. After his flight, Lindbergh became the most famous person in the world. By his fame started t Most people have heard of Charles Lindbergh because of either the murder of his son or in relation to his flight. By his fame started to wane a bit, but then his son was born, kidnapped, and murdered. After being relentlessly hounded by the press, he and his wife Anne an even better writer than he was , left the US to live in England, then France.
While there, , they made several flights to Germany and Russia, at the request of the US government, in particular an army officer named Truman Smith. Lindbergh was helping Smith get a firm idea of the German industrial strength, especially as regards to aircraft. He was very impressed with what he saw, and considered German air power to be stronger than the US, France, and England put together. At one state dinner in Berlin, with high ranking American and German officials, Herman Goering surprised Lindbergh by presenting him with a medal. It would have been rude to refuse it, and American officials were trying to get better relations with Germany, so of course he accepted it.
This was the beginning of the notion that Lindbergh was a Nazi sympathizer. FDR, who long disliked Lindbergh and considered him a possible political rival, promoted the idea that Lindbergh was a German sympathizer. All of this is crystal clear from the journals. The journal covers roughly - I've already described phase 1 a bit. I'll say a few words about each of the others.
The Wartime Journals by Hugh Trevor Roper
The public speaking was after Germany attacked England, but while the US was not in the war. Lindbergh very much felt that England should sue for peace and we should stay out of it. This was in fact the majority opinion in the US before Pearl Harbor. He made several highly publicized speeches to this effect before large crowds and on national radio. In Detroit, he was constantly shuttling back and forth to Washington and to his home on Long Island.
He respected Henry Ford a great deal, but found him "eccentric. This is unfair.
Table of contents
After Pearl Harbor, he wanted very much to actually get into combat. FDR prevented that. However, he was able to get appointed as a technical observer and advisor in the South Pacific. While there, he actually flew 50 combat missions, scoring one kill. He devised a way to greatly extend the range of the fighter planes. Douglas MacArthur was very impressed with that. He saw the slave camp at Dora, but not the concentration camps. The book is extremely well written.
Ironically, the Lindbergh haters take that as evidence that he didn't really write it, that Anne did! This is clearly absurd to those who have actually read the book. I read every page at least once. Lindbergh was not without fault. He was not a saint. Some of what he wrote, though completely in the spirit of the times, will seem a bit racist to a reader. He spoke of preserving the western European heritage and bloodline, especially in relation to the Russians, who he considered inferior.
In the prewar years, he thought Russia a bigger menace than Germany for this reason.
He was a well-read but not especially well educated person. The rough edges occasionally show. He could be stubborn and stand-offish. But he had good reason to be reserved -- his family was hounded by the press for years. But the long list of books he remarks that he is reading will embarrass most of us today. There isn't a cheesy novel among them.
He was an incredibly talented and accomplished person, far far more than just a pilot or just a "mechanic". That is the actual description of him used by a s biographer of Anne Lindbergh -- another example of the pathetic bias one encounters about Charles Lindbergh. In the end, one is left with the impression of a very fine, serious person, close to noble.
The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh
A person who knew everyone and saw everything in those years. His perspective on this great period in history is unique and extremely valuable. Dec 17, Mark Mortensen rated it really liked it Shelves: military , memoir , wwii. His selection of black and white photos adds full complement. He remains one of the most misunderstood public figures of his time.
His initial isolationist stance to remain at peace aligned him with the America First movement prior to the bombing of Pear Harbor and in some circles his image suffered because he found much disagreement with President Roosevelt. He developed a close relationship with Henry Ford and remained in awe of his thought process and success. After many missions it was deemed that his status as a civilian fighter pilot was not legal, however following a brief reset he was back in the air on attack.
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