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Atlantic Fever: Lindbergh, His Competitors, and the Race to Cross the Atlantic
Synopses & Reviews
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, René 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.
For five weeks—from April 14 to May 21, 1927—the world held its breath while fourteen aviators took to the air to capture the $25,000 prize that Raymond Orteig offered to the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean without stopping.
Joe Jacksons Atlantic Fever is about this race, a milestone in American history whose story has never been fully told. Delving into the lives of the big-name competitors—the polar explorer Richard Byrd, the French war hero René Fonck, the millionaire Charles Levine, and the races eventual winner, the enigmatic Charles Lindbergh—as well as those whose names have been forgotten by history (such as Bernt Balchen, Stanton Wooster, and Clarence Chamberlin), Jackson brings a completely fresh and original perspective to the race to conquer the Atlantic.
Atlantic Fever opens for us one of those magical windows onto a moment when the nexus of technology, innovation, character, and spirit led so many contenders from different parts of the world to be on the cusp of the exact same achievement at the exact same time.
About the Author
Joe Jackson is the author of five works of nonfiction and one novel. His most recent book, The Thief at the End of the World:Rubber, Power, and the Seeds of Empire, was named one of Time magazines Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2008.
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