"The day after which nothing would be the same for him was Friday, May 20, 1927. That morning, alone in a little plane powered by a single engine, Charles A. Lindbergh took off from a muddy runway on the outskirts of New York. His destination was Paris."
So begins Brendan Gill's book about the most extraordinary feat of one of our country's most extraordinary men. With clarity of vision and characteristic elegance, Gill gives us in Lindbergh Alone a meditation on one man's unprecedented accomplishment, and the world's overwhelming response to it.
Originally published for the fiftieth anniversary of the flight, Gill did not intend to write a standard biography of Lindbergh; rather, Gill attempted to describe an unknown young man at one moment in history, and to examine the forces that led him to act as he did. The 1920s were a period that sought out heroes and worshipped them extravagantly; few heroes were so unlike the age that fostered them as this "unheralded boy" of twenty-five. A shy man, bold hearted and firm of purpose, the Lindbergh we come to know in Gill's book is one whose intelligence and strength of will enabled him, through a single, superb act, to become perhaps the most celebrated figure of his time.
Lindbergh Alone persuades us that Lindbergh's valorous flight and subsequent renown were the natural consequences of his upbringing and his own nature. It also demonstrates that, on rare occasions, a man is capable of making history by his own choice.