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Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed

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  • Posted April 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Captain Eddie

    Perhaps you’ve read the glowing stories of Eddie Rickenbacker’s high flying adventures in World War I or his early career in the fledgling sport of auto racing on the dirt tracks of the mid-west. This biography takes in all of that, with the thrills, danger, and exciting details that it deserves. The book also goes beyond the glitter and the glory to the solid facts that shaped a boy into a man and a man into a legend. When Eddie was about fourteen yeas old, his father was shot and killed, in no small part because of the man’s volatile temper which manifested itself both outside and inside the home. Eddie seldom talked about this, preferring to gloss over this aspect of his life, when he quit school and assumed the role of the man of the family. His pluck, determination, and ability to adjust to traumatic situations would serve him well throughout his life, from the brickyard of Indianapolis, to the skies over France and the vast emptiness of the Pacific Ocean. Not many of us would have survived through half of the events in Eddie’s life. He lost many friends while driving the race car circuit. Accidents were routine in every race and often proved fatal to drivers and fans alike. Eddie had learned to hide his emotions at an early age and although the loss of his friends deeply disturbed him, he seldom showed any outward signs preferring instead to work harder to improve the safety of his machines and himself as a driver. This attitude would serve him well throughout his life. As the losses of pilots in WWI escalated at a horrific pace, Eddie worked harder to improve the planes and the fighting and piloting ability of his men. When Eddie proved to be the U. S.’s Ace of Aces, it wasn’t about the glory for Eddie, but about doing the best at what he did. This book provided for review by St. Martin’s Press and Shelf Awareness.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2014

    Enduring Courage is a book that chronicles the life and times of

    Enduring Courage is a book that chronicles the life and times of Eddie Rickenbacker, an American legend and Medal of Honor recipient, with 26 victories in the skies. He was also into race cars and did some racing. In addition, he was an automobile designer, military consultant and the head of Eastern Air Lines. He was the master of all he surveyed and a genuine hero for all to look up to. “Eddie” loved machines of any sort and defied the Grim Reaper many times with his racing exploits in both car or plane.

    Eddie Rickenbacker was born in Ohio, a son of Swiss immigrants. When he was a teenager, his father died after a fight with another man. Eddie left school to get a job and help his family, but found that he couldn’t leave any kind of machine alone. He decided to enroll in an engineering course, trying to learn all he could about automobiles and eventually becoming a salesman at the Columbus, Ohio Buggy Company. He became a well-known race car driver who competed in the famous Indianapolis 500 four times before World War I.

    Before the US entered the war, Rickenbacker was chomping at the bit to be an aviator. When he finally was able to join up he faced many challenges, including, at one time, of being accused of spying for Germany. He did, however, go on to become an American Ace pilot. Don’t forget folks; this was way before parachutes, radar that could find you in a jiffy and any type of radios. So, the pilots were pretty much on their own up in the wild blue yonder. This is a reason that the gung ho pilots usually didn’t have long lives as they pushed their machines to the edge and over it if they had to.

    In his later life, Rickenbacker was just as gutsy as he had always been by buying Eastern Air Lines in 1938 and becoming an ace businessman. During WWII, he lived through two terrible plane crashes, one of them during a secret mission into the Pacific which left him lost at sea for 24 days until he and his fellow survivors were rescued.

    Enduring Courage is a terrific story about the emerging age of speed, how it came about and how this man, above all else, let the world know that they would be moving forward. Many people believed that Rickenbacker was a bit of a show off, but he definitely had courage and smarts to outwit drivers on a race track, men piloting air planes, and commanding men in the skies.

    Quill says: This is a very honestly written story about a very courageous man who led an exemplary life. The author does a fine job letting the readers know that this particular legend was a man who always pushed the envelope, particularly when the subject of speed came up.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    Exceptional book a book that is hard to put down I have read a l

    Exceptional book a book that is hard to put down I have read a little about Eddie Rickenbacker but this book goes above and beyond from
    his boyhood days, then his racing career, into his service in THE WAR TO END ALL WARS and after his advise to leaders of world war ii and after post world war ii I would say it is a must read if you are interested in the 1900s world war I outstanding book on the life of Eddie Rickenbacker

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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