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Recommended: A. Scott Berg’s biography of Charles Lindbergh

I am currently reading Lindbergh by A. Scott Berg and it’s easily the best biography I have read in many a year. It’s a bio of the great American aviator Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly across the Atlantic – a feat he completed flying solo. The odd thing is I bought this book more than a year ago at a secondhand charity book sale and it had sat on my shelf since then until I exhausted every other reading option available to me. I thought it looked rather dull so I avoided it. Lindbergh is a big thick book and I’m a slow reader, but I’m staying up late each night to learn more about the remarkable life of Lindbergh.

The actual flight across the Atlantic takes up a relatively small part of the book but Lindbergh’s life as a whole is fascinating. He was a massive celebrity long before celebrities were a cultural phenomenon. After the record-breaking flight, he could never again go anywhere in the US without being mobbed. He was constantly trailed by reporters even when he was in the air. I knew a little of the infamous kidnapping of his baby son but Berg goes into amazing detail on this tragedy and last night I was reading about the trial that took place of Bruno Richard Hauptmann.

Who knew Lindbergh helped launch TWA? Who knew he helped revolutionise how the US mail was carried? Who knew he was an inventor?  There’s still more drama to come concerning Linbergh’s relationship with the Nazis and his reaction to World War II. This is not a dull book.

Berg won a Pulitzer Prize for this biography, published in 1998.

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