Praise for East to the Dawn
"Of the dozen or so books (mostly wild fantasies) that I have read about Amelia Earhart, Susan Butler's is the only one which re-creates accurately that singular woman whom my father was in love with, as indeed was I, aged ten, when the lady vanished."
The New Yorker, 9/14
Emily Wortis Leider, New York Times Book Review
“The mountain of new material it marshals guarantees “East to the Dawn” a permanent place on the shelf of Amelia Earhart references.”
Cari Beauchamp, Los Angeles Times
“The reader closes “East to the Dawn” with the lingering realization of how truly contemporary Amelia Earhart remains and with a new understanding of the love and admiration she earned from colleagues and the public at large and her insistence on being her own person while fighting for causes larger than herself continue to command our respect and fuel our dreams.”
Renee Graham, Boston Globe
"[An] expansive biography Rich with detail, “East to the Dawn” is an important book certainly the most comprehensive Earhart biography in recent years. It stirs Earhart, who would have turned 100 this year, from the mists of myth, and finds the flesh-and-blood humanity within the alabaster icon.”
Kirkus Reviews, 9/15/97
This exhaustive new biography, coming on the centennial of Earhart's birth, throws new light on many of the more controversial elements of the aviator's life and death. Earhart was a self-possessed and downright adventurous young woman. Her two enduring passions were flying and social work, endeavors that both seem to have captivated the feminine imagination in her time. By the time she was 25, Earhart had become one of those early mythical heroes of the sky whom people came to see at air meets and dreamed of emulating.' She vagabonded' across the country solo in a plane and, with the help of her husband, publishing giant George Putnam, had the book documenting her tale out on the stands less than two weeks after completion of the feat. The list of her flight achievements is lengthy and impressive. But it is the cool yet inspired marriage between Putnam and Earhart, two inveterate adventurers, that lies at the core of Butler's biography. Putnam was a brilliant media spin-doctor who relentlessly promoted his wife's image. Butler's study raises some provocative questions (Was Earhart a feminist or just a singular human being? Were her feats victories for women everywhere or victories for pure heroism?) without convincingly answering them. But if the study isn't always persuasive in its answers, it is filled with wonderful details about Earhart's glamorous lifestyle and the wild, dangerous world of early aviators Butler's flat writing style somewhat undermines her portrait of Earhart's singular emotional and physical courage. Nonetheless, the still enthralling figure of the aviator--wearing her signature trousers and jacket, blond hair and silk scarf blowing, beckoning to the free spirit in all of us--does powerfully come through. (b&w photos, not seen).
CBS News Director Mira Nair