THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS by Charles A. Lindbergh
Kirkus Star

THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A first person singular (and very swell) and present imperative, this is the full story of which the SEP published ten installments under the title 33 Hours to Paris and merits an even more special place than his earlier WE. It begins in 1926, when he was a pilot on the St. Louis-Chicago mail route, and decided to try for the Orteig prize to be awarded for an Atlantic crossing, and follows every step of his careful, detailed, concentrated methods in getting backers and the plane of his dreams. The little black notebook in which everything was jotted down; the setbacks and the budgeting; the careful think-through which had its conclusion in the building of his machine in California where there was also the constant study of unmapped routes. The testing of The Spirit of St. Louis on its first flights and on the trip to St. Louis; the amazement of the transcontinental run when they arrived in New York; the nuisance of the newspapermen and the friendly help that was offered; the sudden decision to take off when the weather opened up and then the hour by hour solo flight. Here, in flashbacks and self communion as the hours pass by and the technical demands of navigation and flying are taken care of, fighting off sleep, is the picture of his life, his family and all the little incidents dearly remembered in solitude -- a solitude where ""change is my friend"" and ""there is no alternative but death and failure"". Through fog, over cloud and alone in uncharted space the soliloquy gains in effectiveness; doubts as to his course are answered by ""I must, I will""; and he flies to a terrifically triumphant ending. This is the phenomenon of Lindbergh for all to see, to remember and to know -- and perhaps to marvel at. Book of the Month selection for September.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1953
ISBN: 0743237056
Publisher: Scribner