Saturday, September 04, 2010

Lindbergh

After I reviewed The Flight of the Century, Scott Berg mailed me a copy of Lindbergh, his 1999 biography of the Lone Eagle.

Lindbergh was our first mega-celebrity, adored in the 1920s for showing that America was inextricably linked to Europe, and reviled in the 1940s for having urged that America stay out of Europe's wars. (Roosevelt so hated him that he wouldn't let Lindbergh serve in uniform during WWII.) He was quite a prophet. As he wrote in 1938:

... the potentially gigantic power of America, guided by uninformed and impractical idealism, might crusade into Europe to destroy Hitler without realizing that Hitler's destruction would lay Europe open to the rape, loot, and barbarism of Soviet Russia's forces, causing possibly the fatal wounding of Western civilization.
Western Civ would survive, but it was a bad forty years for that portion of it that fell behind the Iron Curtain.

And after the German army and air force blitzed Poland in September 1939, Lindbergh wrote:
We must either keep out of European wars entirely or stay in European affairs permanently.
Seventy-one years later, we remain very much involved in European affairs. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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