First edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [2014]
xxiii, 375 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
The sensational true story of Eddie Rickenbacker, America's greatest flying ace, who above all the rest showed a nation the way forward in its quest for speed, endurance and courage.
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Map of the Western Front -- Map of Chateau-Thierry -- Map of Saint-Mihiel -- Map of the Mease-Argonne -- Introduction: When a man faces death -- Book I: Racing -- Love at first sight -- A most dangerous job -- Death on the track -- Aeroplane vs. automobile -- New order of terrors -- Book II: Flying -- Storm clouds overhead -- Flying lessons -- A steep learning curve -- Aircraft morph into deadly weapons -- Book III: Fighting -- First blood -- When giants fall -- Race to ace -- The Germans strike back -- A secret counteroffensive -- Squadron command -- Book IV: Immortality -- Plane crash -- Triumph of will.
9781250033772 (hardcover)
1250033772 (hardcover)
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Fighter pilots
Aviation pioneers
Aviation history
War heroes
Military history
Automobile racing
- United States
- International
Time Period
1890-1973 -- 19th-20th century
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  Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Ross's (War on the Run) latest is wildly gripping in addition to being full of well-researched facts and insights. Ross skillfully captures eventual Medal of Honor winner Rickenbacker's trajectory from a poor immigrant boy in Ohio to ace pilot and American hero. Listeners will develop a great appreciation for Fast Eddie's rebellious spirit and tremendous resilience to the challenges of life. Thanks to Rickenbacker's eventful existence and various talents, this work has a little something for everyone. Rickenbacker's early days as a pioneering race-car driver allows for a thorough discussion of the evolution of the automobile in turn-of-the-20th-century America. Additionally, listeners get a similar level of detail about varied topics encompassed by Rickenbacker's life, such as airplanes, World War I, business, and politics. Ross has truly captured the essence of an American icon and presented him perfectly for generations to come. Edward Herrmann's narration is top-notch, bringing Rickenbacker to life through Ross's words. VERDICT This work is recommended for all audiences but would be particularly captivating for history and warfare fans.-Sean Kennedy, Cleveland State Univ. Law Lib. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

This biography of a legendary WWI combat ace explores a career spent courting danger at the frontiers of technical invention. Raised in poverty, Rickenbacker matured early into a driven man with a "preternatural quickness" for acquiring mechanical engineering skills in the custom car workshops of 1900's Columbus, Ohio. He soon used this mechanical aptitude, along with an "abundance of moxie," to master the new sport of motorcar racing. Graduating to the theater of WWI, he enters the "race to ace," gaining a reputation as a fighter pilot and mounting the kill record of a "precisely murderous" pilot, whose raw skill and intuition in the cockpit earned him military advancement at war and celebrity treatment at home. Former Smithsonian magazine editor Ross has a knack for exciting, visual narrative, and the life-defining moments of race and dogfight are made particularly visceral through inclusion of technical details that enrich the drama. Though lacking much exploration of Rickenbacker's later life-the treatment of his longer civilian life primarily revolves around an unbelievable survival adrift at sea-this is a highly entertaining, if incomplete, portrait, which reveres its subject as a hero defined by his high-speed feats. Maps and photos. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Early in&nbspthe twentieth century, two new American super figures-the racecar driver and the flying ace-would&nbspbecome the embodiment of American skilled manhood, and no individual did more to create and intensify these new roles than Eddie Rickenbacker. Over and over he would defy death in racecar and airplane as America would come to know him better than the current President. ENDURING&nbspCOURAGE&nbspchronicles his improbable rise, overcoming the specter of&nbsphis father's violent death, a debilitating handicap, and, later, accusations of being a German spy. Not only would he become a world-renowned racecar driver, but America's ace of aces in WWI as well, shooting down more enemy planes than anyone and receiving the Medal of Honor. He and his comrades created a new kind of warfare, making up maneuvers on the fly while battling The Red Baron and his deadly squadron, pushing their machines&nbspbeyond the edge of destruction without parachutes or radios.The next chapter in Rickenbacker's life was every bit as momentous, from buying Eastern Air Lines,&nbspto surviving two horrendous plane crashes, one during WWII on a secret mission in the Pacific that left him lost at sea. Adrift for 24 days, Rickenbacker led the survivors in catching food and water until they were rescued, barely alive. With impeccable research, author John Ross tells the&nbspgripping story of a man who pushed the limits of speed and endurance, and emerged an American legend.
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