Atlantic Fever

Atlantic Fever

Lindbergh, His Competitors, and the Race to Cross the Atlantic

Book - 2012 | 1st ed.
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"A fast-paced, dynamic account of the race to cross the Atlantic, and the larger-than-life personalities of the aviators who captured the world's attention In 1919, a prize of $25,000 was offered to the first aviator to cross the Atlantic in either direction between France and America. Although it was one of the most coveted prizes in the world, it sat unclaimed (not without efforts) for eight long years, until the spring of 1927. It was then, during five incredibly tense weeks, that one of those magical windows in history opened, when there occurred a nexus of technology, innovation, character, and spirit that led so many contenders (from different parts of the world) to all suddenly be on the cusp of the exact same achievement at the exact same time. Atlantic Fever is about the race; it is a milestone in American history whose story has never been fully told. Richard Byrd, Noel Davis, Stanton Wooster, Clarence Chamberlin, Charles Levine, Rene; Fonck, Charles Nungesser, and François Coli--all had equal weight in the race with Charles Lindbergh. Although the story starts in September 1926 with the crash of the first competitor, or even further back with the 1919 establishment of the prize, its heart is found in a short period, those five weeks from April 14 to May 21, 1927, when the world held its breath and the aviators met their separate fates in the air"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780374106751
Branch Call Number: 629.1309 JACKSON
Characteristics: x, 525 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Feb 06, 2018

Curiously unsatisfying book. Written in a breezy style, at odds with the topic. Non fiction, with that annoying method of not really end noting things. By that I mean, there are no end notes noted in the text, but there are several pages of notes at the end, which are referenced by a brief quote from the page. If it's worth noting, tell your reader!

Marred by sloppy proof reading (I very much doubt a rate of climb of several hundred feet a second, claimed for one heavily laden aircraft. Per minute perhaps).

Despite claiming to be an account of Lindbergh and his competitors in the race for the Orteig prize, there is a distinct lack of photographs of the aircraft themselves (and there must be plenty of photographs in the public domain).

The mention of previous Atlantic crossings is sketchy. The US Navy expedition (first to cross, albeit with several stops) is mentioned but with little details, and a reference to the aircraft as "Nancy's" appears to be a reference to the nickname given to the Curtis NC-4 flying boats. Alcock and Brown (first to cross non stop) are mentioned only in passing. The R-34 airship (the first aircraft to cross east to west, and the first to make a return trip is not mentioned at all, yet all these crossing preceded that of Lindbergh. More space is given to subsequent successful and unsuccessful crossings.


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