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Monday, July 15, 2013

Charles Lindbergh — Warts And All

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

Writer of first-person historical fiction Melanie Benjamin, the author of Alice I Have Been and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, crafts well researched and engaging books. Indeed, after just a few pages into any of her books, the reader begins to do some research on one's own to discover how much of the content of Ms. Benjamin's books is fiction and how much actual fact. The Aviator's Wife is no exception!  Read about the book HERE at the author's web site and about the possible extent of writer's license HERE at BlogCritics.

The Aviator's Wife is written from the point of view of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and the reader discovers that Charles A. Lindbergh, nicknamed Lucky Lindy and The Lone Eagle, was a cold fish of a man even before the 1932 kidnapping and murder of 20-month-old Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr.  Lucky Lindy was confident in his ability to bring his son back home safe and sound, and he regarded the death of his first child as one of his few failures.  The reader will likely conclude that the man had many failures but could not recognize those failures for what they were. 

According to The Aviator's Wife, the man's biggest failure was a personal one: his definition of love was one of distance kept and micro-management.  For example, when he lay on his deathbed in Maui in 1974, he instructed Anne, to whom he had been married since 1929, that she could kiss him but not until after he died.  Also, he never hesitated to take Anne away from the babies so as to serve as his copilot and actually forbade Anne from bonding too closely with their six children.  The Lone Eagle definitely had baggage!

Charles A. Lindbergh was perhaps the first American national hero whose success made him a legend in his own mind — in part because the fawning press fostered that legend.  Tragically, it was the intrusive press that must bear at least some responsibility for the kidnapping of the Lindberghs' firstborn child: the press published maps that made it easy for the kidnapper(s) to take the baby.  Even after the kidnapping and despite the Lindberghs awaiting the birth of their second child, the intrusive American press continued to pursue the Lindberghs at every turn. even to the point of publishing photographs of the baby's remains.  It's no wonder that Charles A. Lindbergh despised and opposed a free press.  The Aviator's Wife posits that Hitler's control of the press may have been part of Lindbergh's respect for Adolf Hitler.

Within a few years of the loss of their firstborn, the Lindberghs moved to Europe, where the press allowed the Lindberghs the kind of privacy that families need.  The Lindberghs returned to the United States in 1939 at the request of the United States Army Air Corps.

The Aviator's Wife also touches upon some lesser known facts about Charles A. Lindbergh, one of those facts being that he had three extramarital liaisons (Following in the steps of his grandfather August Lindbergh, born as Ola Månsson?) which resulted in seven children born in Europe between 1958 and 1967, five of those children born to the Hesshaimer sisters in Germany and two born to his aristocratic-born secretary Valeska. When he lay dying, Lindbergh wrote to each of his former lovers and urged them to maintain secrecy. None of the illegitimate children came forward until after Anne's death in 2001, and 2003 DNA tests have confirmed that three of the children are indeed the offspring of Charles A. Lindbergh.

In The Aviator's Wife, Anne knows of her husband's letters and reads them. It is not certain that she had any such knowledge — although the fact that she is not buried by her husband's side could indicate that she may have had knowledge of her husband's many betrayals. 

But don't get the mistaken idea that The Aviator's Wife is a book wallowing in self-pity and in denigrating Charles A. Lindbergh.  Rather, the book is a window into the soul of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a remarkable woman. The book also reminds the reader that every marriage, no matter how perfect from the outside, is a private and complicated relationship, a relationship that even the husband and wife often do not fully understand.

I highly recommend this book!  The Aviator's Wife (2013) is available for purchase and at most public libraries. A reading guide is available HERE.

The Aviator's Wife is such a good read that I'm now reading Reeve Lindbergh's No More Words, a daughter's memoir that chronicles the final days of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, who lost her ability to speak because of a series of strokes.

19 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. [NOTE: I tried to post the following EIGHT times here, and was THWARTED over and over and over again. The code letters and numbers are getting more and more difficult to decipher.]

    Regarding Your Article:

    Interesting on a gossipy kind of way, but most of this has been known for a long time.

    Lindbergh performed an astonishing, heroic feat. No one can take that away from him. And that is ALL that's truly important about him.

    Apparently, in other respects he was a lot like most other men.

    I doubt very much if Lindbergh ever actively sought the status of an American Idol.

    Why take time today to dig all this up and dwell on it, as though it had any bearing on the problems that confront us today?

    I can see only one reason:

    Lindbergh was a tall, extraordinarily good-looking blond WHITE AMERICAN man who made a spectacular achievement with far reaching, largely positive consequences.

    We are currently engaged in WOW -- a bitter, innately vicious and unprincipled War on White Men.

    This Benjamin woman is undoubtedly a LEFTIST who is USING this material as part of the ubiquitous, fanatically-determined campaign to denigrate, demean, debunk -- and if possible DESTROY -- any positive images we may have left of WHITE MALE HEROES and WHITE MEN of DISTINCTION we may have loved, respected and revered in the past.

    The ostensible purpose of books of this sort may be to "inform," and "entertain," but the ulterior motive is undoubtedly exactly what I stated.

    It's part of large, far reaching pattern fomented in academia (85-90% leftist) and in the enemedia (85-90% leftist, and largely owned and operated by Jews), and of course, The "Entertainment" Industry, which is nothing but hideously efficient "mill" for the propagation and dissemination of Leftist Propaganda, owned and operated by the same elements that infest academia and the enemedia.

    When will we ever get to read an open, straightforward account of Martin Luther King, Jr's illustrious career as a disciple of Marxism and fellow traveler with the American Communist Party and his incredible exploits as a WHOREMASTER?

    The answer is NEVER, because "The Bosses" are busily engaged in Operation WOW -- the War on Whites.

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  4. Very interesting. The wife's viewpoint is always interesting when told honestly. This sounds like a good read.

    Debbie
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

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  5. That criticism of the book as historical fiction in that one link is enough to keep me from reading the book because it implies it's far more fiction than fact..
    your book review is EXCELLENT in its links, etc. Thanks.
    I've never been an historical fiction fan because I want to know the truth and sometimes it's hard for me to keep truth straight when something's been written more 'romantically' than the truth. Make sense?
    Still, I suppose the Lindbergh affairs and children from those affairs might be true?
    Interesting that she's not buried next to him. They MUST be true :-)

    Off Topic; I'm literally heart stick at the Eric Holder statements this morning. Darned if they're going to foment racism in any way they can. I'm near tears with fear of our government.

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  6. An important question: is the Quran the Word of God or is it a fabrication of a Man. Thus, is the Quran the truth or a fiction and a hoax? The jihadists use many verses from the Quran as the Main source of justification for their violence, mayhem and murders. There, the question is clearly given on pages 145 through 157 in THE ISLAMIC INVASION by Robert Morey in which he wrote a section on the Quran with its self-contradictions. Just two of the many he cited are the following “The Quran differs on whether a day is a thousand years or fifty thousand years in God’s sight’ and “Who was first to believe? Abraham or Moses [Sura 6:14 versus 7:143]? The above is inconsistent and illogical. Further, Morey wrote about “The fact that Judaism and Christianity broke up into different sects was used in the Quran to prove that they are not of God [Suras 30:20-32. 42:13, 14]. Yet Islam has broken up into many warring sects and therefore cannot be true if the Quran is right.” Moreover, Morey in his book shows many more contradictions and absurdities in the Quran, there are and how Muhammad incorporated extra Biblical and Jewish folklore along with pre-Islamic Arabian myth and parts of Zoroastrian and Hindu stories into the Quran. Furthermore, the Muslims claim that “the Quran is the direct, literal word of God unmodified in any way by the Prophet who uttered them at the bidding of God.” Nevertheless, in the book UNVEILING ISLAM by Ergun Mehmet and Eethi Caner has shown that the Quran was modified in the following account on pages 45. “Muhammad felt the need to improve on the words of Allah, since he changed Allah’s wisdom for his own on several occasions. A hadith tells of the nonchalant emendations of Muhammad:’ On a number of occasions he [a scribe] had, with the Prophet’s consent changed the closing words of verses. For example, when the prophet had said ‘God is mighty and wise ‘ Adbollah b. Abi Sarh suggested writing down ‘Knowing and wise’ and the Prophet answered that there was no objection. Having observed a succession of changes of this type, Adbollah renounced Islam on the grounds that revelations, if from God could not be changed at the prompting of a scribe such as himself. After his apostasy he went to Mecca and joined the Qorayshites.’ Other writers reveal that later Muhammad and his people did go war with the Qorayshites and he personally killed Abdollah. Obviously Abdollah knew too much and Muhammad wanted Abdollah’s knowledge to die with him.” In conclusion, the Quran is not only a fiction, it’s also a hoax.

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  7. Z,
    The facts in the book are actual. I've thoroughly checked on those facts.

    Anne Morrow Lindbergh's emotions about those facts are fictional. She didn't share her feeling about her husband's views and multiple love affairs.

    What is quite interesting: many feminists regard Anne Morrow Lindbergh as a leader in the feminist movement. I don't see that she was. Like most women of her era, she adopted her husband's views -- publicly, at least.

    The author of The Aviator's Wife read everything that Anne Morrow Lindbergh ever published -- and more, including the diaries. Of course, Ms. Benjamin has interpreted those writings by reading between the lines.

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  8. The Greek philosopher Plato is one of the contributors to Western Civilization. He may shed some light into the subject of those people who are shackled in the chains and darkness of Islamic thought. In Plato’s REPUBLIC he gave an allegory of a cave where “the condition of men living in a sort of cavernous chamber…Here they have been from childhood, chained by leg and also by the neck, so that they cannot move and see only what is in front of them.” This can fit into what the Imams do in the mosques and how they brainwash the young people in the madrassa’s by always programming Islamic doctrine into their victims and not exposing them to other worldviews. Furthermore, even in Islamic tradition when Muslims have their newborn child the father whispers words of the Quran into the infants ear so that that Quran verses are the first thing the newborn person hears. This programming process takes place all their lives. These are some of the chains that keep them bound in a mosque [cave]. The chains do not let them reach out for dialectic reasoning and let them examine the evidence both for as well as against, or even question whether Muhammad was a true prophet of God or not, and if the Quran is a hoax or not. As the chains and darkness of the cave blinds and holds the prisoners back from reality, so Islamic propaganda holds back the cognition to reason with the question if Islam is true or not. They are forbidden from even thinking to question Islam. Furthermore, if a Muslim by some miracle wakes up to the truth about Islam, it would be like the man in Plato’s cave allegory who was released from his chains and taken outside to the real world. At first direct light would be painful and disorienting, it would take some time for him to understand what the truth is all about, he even might cling to the shadows and still for a time believe some of the illusions to be real. But he would finally come to know “what he had formerly seen was meaningless illusion.” And that was “what passed for wisdom in his former dewelling-place.”And that the other cave prisoners also needed to see the light [the truth] for he “was sorry for them.” and he would re-enter the cave just to rescue them. Nevertheless, the cave prisoners wouldn’t understand and “if they could lay hand on the man who was trying to set them free.” And if they could “they would kill him.” Likewise, when someone escapes from the shackles of Islam, those still in the darkness of this religion would not understand and if possible kill him for leaving Islam, and even more so if he were to try to enlighten them about the truth about Islam. For these people in Islam are chained to an empty imitation of truth and godliness.

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  9. He may have been a cold fish but he was a great closet Nazi.

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  10. Duck,
    I think that there is no doubt that Lindbergh was a eugenicist.

    However, he abandoned Nazism following Kristallnacht.

    What most attracted Lindbergh to Germany under Hitler was the media was controlled and not pursuing him like that hounds from hell. Hitler wouldn't allow that.

    It is of note that his daughter Reeve has declared that she never heard any anti-Semitic comments from her father. Nevertheless, Lindbergh did make the point early on -- before Reeve was born -- that the media had caused the kidnapping and death of his firstborn child AND that the media (press and Hollywood) were dominated by Jews. His wife's family was helping the Jews to escape the Third Reich, but Anne kept quiet because she couldn't think of a retort about the Jews' control of the media.

    What the media did to the Lindberghs was unconscionable. Period.

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  11. FT,
    I know that my review is a bit gossipy. In that regard, my review doesn't do justice to the novel.

    On the one hand, Anne Morrow counted herself so blest to be married to Charles Lindbergh. On the other hand, the marriage was also one of personal hurt for her.

    As you rightly pointed out:

    Lindbergh performed an astonishing, heroic feat. No one can take that away from him. And that is ALL that's truly important about him.

    [...]

    I doubt very much if Lindbergh ever actively sought the status of an American Idol
    .

    However, the book doesn't really do this:

    dig all this up and dwell on it

    The book dwells more on how Anne Morrow Lindbergh struggled with reconciling the man she thought she had married and the man that he really was. It is obvious that she loved him desperately.

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  12. FT,
    BTW, author Melanie Benjamin doesn't write "loaded" books. Her two previous novels are Alice I Have Been and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.

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  13. Now, how does this book relate to what's going on today?

    The book clearly portrays the media as "the enemedia," which can ruin lives in the eagerness to get the story.

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  14. OH WOW, ANOTHER BOOK REVIEW. HOW VERY [Expletive deleted by administrator] EXCITING AND ORIGINAL OF YOU.

    Will this blog ever stop sucking? Tune in next week....

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  15. Hang in there aow...we needed a break.

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  16. Bunkerville,
    One of the breaks that I take in these Orwellian times is reading fiction. For a long time after 9/11, I read almost no fiction.

    Reading fiction lowers my blood pressure, I think.

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  17. @ Anonomous -- Glad you could stop by and share your intellect with us.

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  18. Thanks, AOW...maybe I'll give it a try. Even sheer biographers can only guess at what their subject is thinking; sounds more fact than fiction.
    i REALLY REALLY don't like historical fiction; and I know there's a fine line.
    Thanks for this post; as Bunker said, it's good to have a break from politics.

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  19. The New York Times published THIS OBITUARY about Anne Morrow Lindbergh in 2001. The obituary reflects the complicated relationship that Charles and Anne had.

    When I was reading The Aviator's Wife, I couldn't help but draw some comparisons between the Lindberghs and Prince Charles and Lady Diana.

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