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The Spirit of St. Louis Paperback – December 9, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Chicago Daily News A stunning, tremendously beautiful reading experience...a classic of adventure writing.

Time At its exciting best, this book keeps the reader cockpit close to a rare adventure.

From the Publisher

Winner, 1954 Pulitzer Prize --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (December 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743237056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743237055
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first read this book as a high school student, and remembered well the hour by hour description of the flight over the Atlantic. On my second reading as an adult, I discovered an additional story within the story that can apply to everyone who has a desire to accomplish something great in their life.
Lindbergh traces how the very wisp of an idea, that an aircraft with enough fuel, powered by a reliable engine, and held on course, could fly 3,600 miles from New York to Paris. Once he realized that he had enough qualifications to make the flight by himself, and could see himself doing it, he was a changed man, he was a man who was going to Paris by air! Now he faced the problem of obtaining support, a task that filled him with more anxiety than the flying itself.
He nurtured his idea, protecting it from the naysayers, carefully confiding in those who could accept his reasoning that a single engine plane made more sense than the trimotor aircraft others were planning to use in that era. He fretted about obtaining an engine, and then an airplane, and met almost continuous obstacles in his path. Yet again and again, to his surprise, financial and technical support was provided, often from totally unexpected quarters.
This book is not only an aviation classic, it is a classic on project management, on turning a vision into goals, and goals into tasks, knowing where the milestones of success can be measured, and when the go/nogo decisions can be made.
If you are a pilot, or want to become one, then this book belongs in your library, and you should consider buying a second copy to give to your CFI. Our instructors represent an unbroken lineage of aviators back to the era described in the story.
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Format: Hardcover
I love reading about aviation, and Lindbergh does an excellent job describing the flight. However, the more inspiring story (I think) is found long before Linbergh cleared the power lines at Roosevelt Field and went on his way. The St. Louis banker who took a chance on an unknown airmail pilot; the obscure aircraft manufacturer in San Diego whose management, engineers, and craftsmen poured their hearts and souls into a one-off creation that they would practically sell at a loss; the fact that Linbergh succeeded where world-famous pilots, backed by five and ten times the money and the best of everything, failed... even the most hardened cynic will want to stand up and cheer. Lindbergh's writing is detailed, yet very easy to read. Buy this book.
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Format: Paperback
The world embraced Charles A. Lindbergh as its hero in 1927 when he piloted his single-engine Ryan Monoplane, The Spirit of St. Louis, across dark waters, completing the first nonstop flight from New York to Paris.

THE SPIRIT OF SAINT LOUIS is an extremely well written book by an American icon. It not only chronicles Lindbergh's famous flight, but also faithfully tells the story of his early life as well. The book provides insight into the early history of American aviation and does so in an entertaining yet compelling format.

A few years ago, A. Scott Berg's biography of Lindbergh chronicled the life of the famed American figure. That book delves into the entire life of the aviator, including his darker days when he was accused of being a Nazi sympathizer. THE SPIRIT OF SAINT LOUIS offers a different, more exuberant vision into the author's more youthful soul. I would recommend reading both books for a complete portrait of the man.
3 Comments 28 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Lindbergh took some risks with this book. He wrote it out first person, present tense. (A big "no no".) And he broke up the storyline with frequent flashbacks. Somehow it all works anyway, in spite of or because of these risks.

But, then again, Lindbergh was a risk taker. He put his life on the line with his Paris flight and succeeded gloriously. He does the same thing here, in the literary world, winning the Pulitzer prize.

We should all stop to reflect a moment on how great a coup this was. And how improbable. Lindbergh published this book in the decade following his ill-fated attempt to prevent America's entry into World War II. In many ways his star had fallen with the American public, politically and otherwise. Yet, he was able to resurrect himself through this first-hand story of his great experimental flight. You can't keep a good man (or woman) down.

My favorite part of this book is the section where he refers to his metaphysical experiences during his flight over the Atlantic. He recounts these experiences in more depth in Autobiography of Values, but it is here that they first see the light of day.

This is an enthralling saga of a great moment in the history of aviation, told by the flier himself. It is a unique contribution to world literature, and as such, scarcely needs me to recommend it. Yet, I do so, unreservedly.

Richard Salva--author of Soul Journey from Lincoln to Lindbergh [UNABRIDGED]
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Format: Paperback
This is one of those books that I read because it was given to me. I had no particular interest in Lindbergh or aviation. But I was spellbound by the second chapter, and stayed up late every night reading it until I finished. Lindbergh's description of the actual flight is unforgettable. This book affected me dramatically. Lindbergh was a genius who had the backbone to buck accepted science in design and operation of his plane. He was the epitome of the innovative, brave and independent American spirit. Surprisingly well-written and fast moving, this book is a must read.
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