Between the Lines Book Club: All Charles Lindbergh

between the lines book club logoIn One Summer: 1927, Bill Bryson writes about Charles Lindbergh, the first person to cross the Atlantic in a solo flight. We will be talking about the book at Arden Dimick Library on February 27, 2017 at 10:30AM.

There is a lot of footage of Lindbergh on YouTube. Biography.com  has a full length documentary about Lindbergh and several shorter clips. You can find his infamous speech to the America First Committee on YouTube.If you want to learn more about the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping, YouTube also has a full length PBS documentary.

The most famous biography of Lindbergh is titled Lindbergh as was written by A. Scott Berg, published in 1998. It won a Pultizer Prize. PBS Newshour did an interview with Berg that you can find online. Here’s a quote about Lindbergh’s antisemitism:

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: You include many quotes in your book from Lindbergh that leave little doubt that he was, it seems to me, anti-Semitic. He talks about a “western wall of race and arms–” speaks of inferior blood. He refers to Jews as — American Jews — as having interests different from “ours.” Did you end up with the belief that he was anti-Semitic?

A. SCOTT BERG: Well, I do believe he was anti-Semitic in ways that even he didn’t realize he was anti-Semitic. I ask a lot of Jewish friends and a lot of my own family what their definition of an anti-Semite is, and some of them just very readily say “Somebody who hates Jews.” And I say “if that’s your definition, I don’t believe Charles Lindbergh was an anti-Semite.” I don’t believe he hated Jews. Indeed, he did help some Jews get out of Nazi Germany, and indeed he did have some Jewish friends. At the same time, I think he was guilty of that other, more genteel kind of anti-Semitism, which is in some ways more insidious, because it is covert. And Lindbergh really was one of those who didn’t realize he was anti-Semitic, but he did believe they were different from the rest of Americans. He believed they controlled the media and the government in this country. He believed they had their own agenda that was different from the American agenda. And that’s just — that’s just anti-Semitism, neat and clean.

Berg did not know about Lindbergh’s secret families abroad – that information came to light after the biography was published. For a light-hearted interview that touches on the issue of Lindbergh’s many families, The New York Times has an interview with Lindbergh’s daughter, Reeve, who indicates that life as a Lindbergh is never dull!

“The siblings!” Ms. Lindbergh, now 62, calls them. “Bless their hearts! With us, every 20 years or so there is something that comes out that you don’t expect. Of course, now things seem to be happening more frequently.”

She ticked off the highlights: “There’s the flight, the kidnapping, the war, the speeches,” she said, referring to her father’s anti-interventionist speeches during World War II, “and now, aye yi yi, polygamy!”

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