Atlantic Fever: Book summary and reviews of Atlantic Fever by Joe Jackson

Atlantic Fever

Lindbergh, His Competitors, and the Race to Cross the Atlantic

by Joe Jackson

Atlantic Fever by Joe Jackson X
Atlantic Fever by Joe Jackson

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. With stirring detail and perceptive insight about the pilots and the public, Jackson recaptures the tone and tenor of a frantic era's national obsession." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. A penetrating evaluation of Lindbergh's triumph set against the backdrop of the hero-worshipping Twenties. Painstakingly researched, Jackson's balanced work is a singular contribution to the history of flight in general and to Lindbergh historiography in particular. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Jackson does aviation history an immense service by recalling the internationally representative group of fliers who competed in the race to cross the Atlantic. Along the way, he also details the scientific and technological advances that made this feverish aeronautical pursuit possible. Jackson's breezy narrative style makes it easy to get swept up in Atlantic Fever." - Margaret Flanagan, Booklist

"By retelling the story of Charles Lindbergh's great 'first' alongside the nice and not-so-nice guys who finished last - from Admiral Byrd to Douglas 'Wrong Way' Corrigan - Joe Jackson gives us a book that is as suspenseful as it is thoughtful. Atlantic Fever is full of wonder at what it really means for human beings to fly, an achievement in which failure is not merely possible but even probable. Plainspoken and fast-paced, exhilarating and hilarious, Atlantic Fever reminds us why we are drawn to look skyward and why it is just as important to look out below." - Scott A. Sandage, author of Born Losers: A History of Failure in America

"Lindbergh may have been portrayed as 'Lindbergh Alone' and the 'Lone Eagle,' but except for having no companion in the cockpit, he was far from that. Rather, he was one of a cast of players in what Joe Jackson calls 'the aviator madness that rounded out the Jazz Age.' In Atlantic Fever, Jackson brilliantly re-creates Lindbergh and the drama and tragedy that surrounded his feat." - John Milton Cooper, Jr., author of Woodrow Wilson: A Biography

"With rich detail and a compelling story, Atlantic Fever recaptures the almost forgotten array of fliers and dreamers that accompanied Charles Lindbergh's solitary crossing in The Spirit of St. Louis. The world of individual daring and aspiration that followed the devastation of World War One has never come more alive." - Leo Braudy, author of The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History

The information about Atlantic Fever shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Joe Jackson

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 magazine's Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2008.

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