A perfectly calibrated tribute to an early heroine of the air.

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ANNE MORROW LINDBERGH

FIRST LADY OF THE AIR

Pilot and aviation historian Winters focuses on the neglected subject of Mrs. Lindbergh’s work as copilot, navigator and radio operator on pioneering flights exploring air routes for the infant airline industry.

At the time of her death, in 2001, Anne Morrow Lindbergh already seemed a figure from the yellowed headlines of the distant past. Her renown came early, with her 1929 marriage to the most celebrated hero of the 20th century. Its tragic second act included the most famous kidnapping/murder trial in U.S. history, but the bereaved mother recovered to write many bestselling books. Largely forgotten today, though publicly appreciated in her time, is her role as one of the early and important women in the almost entirely male world of aviation. Winters covers Morrow’s sheltered early life as part of a wealthy, service-minded family (her father was ambassador to Mexico at the time she met Charles Lindbergh) and touches, sometimes more than briefly, on her marriage, the kidnapping and her literary career. But the author devotes the bulk of this narrative to meticulously tracking the many flights Anne and Charles made on behalf of Pan Am. Her husband proudly identified her as “crew,” but Anne was careful never to claim too much on behalf of her aviation exploits, even though they required undoubted skill and courage. She always maintained that for her, flying constituted first and foremost a refuge, helping to preserve the intimacy of a marriage subject to overwhelming public scrutiny. This makes her a tricky feminist icon, considered strictly as an aviator, and Winters, following her subject’s lead, wisely never overstates the case. Anne’s flying career ended in her early 30s. Near the close of her long life, after finally receiving numerous awards honoring her contributions to aviation’s golden age, she did concede that her years spent flying were, perhaps, her “most feminist period.”

A perfectly calibrated tribute to an early heroine of the air.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-4039-6932-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2006

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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