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The enigmatic Lindbergh--inconsistent, irritating, intractable, inaccessible--has escaped his adult biographers, except as a symbol, so it's hardly a condemnation to say that this is fluent but bland, i.e. easily readable but not penetrating or revealing. Miss de Leeuw can be seriously faulted only for imposing her own attitudes rather than attempting to understand her subject's: re Lindbergh's stormy petrel father--""Why he had this deep-seated distrust of capitalistic procedures and the moneyed people of the country is a little hard to understand""; similarly, the son's proclivity for practical jokes ""is somewhat difficult to understand in a man of his character."" Young people today won't find either ""hard to understand"" and they may be put off, also, by some of the terminology--his grandmother and then his wife is a ""helpmeet""--and what it implies. If his character is shrouded throughout, his career is fully and clearly developed, including the controversial pro-Nazi period. The author would have had him exonerated as soon as Pearl Harbor propelled him into action and raised to his previous stature on account of his wartime service; others may see his fighting for his country in a somewhat more limited light. The book too, as the most detailed juvenile available, performs a real if limited service.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1969
Publisher: Westminster