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

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

by John F. Ross
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Overview

Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed by John F. Ross

The sensational true story of Eddie Rickenbacker, America's greatest flying ace

At the turn of the twentieth century two new technologies—the car and airplane—took the nation's imagination by storm as they burst, like comets, into American life. The brave souls that leaped into these dangerous contraptions and pushed them to unexplored extremes became new American heroes: the race car driver and the flying ace.

No individual did more to create and intensify these raw new roles than the tall, gangly Eddie Rickenbacker, who defied death over and over with such courage and pluck that a generation of Americans came to know his face better than the president's. The son of poor, German-speaking Swiss immigrants in Columbus, Ohio, Rickenbacker overcame the specter of his father's violent death, a debilitating handicap, and, later, accusations of being a German spy, to become the American military ace of aces in World War I and a Medal of Honor recipient. He and his high-spirited, all-too-short-lived pilot comrades, created a new kind of aviation warfare, as they pushed their machines to the edge of destruction—and often over it—without parachutes, radios, or radar.

Enduring Courage is the electrifying story of the beginning of America's love affair with speed—and how one man above all the rest showed a nation the way forward. No simple daredevil, he was an innovator on the racetrack, a skilled aerial dualist and squadron commander, and founder of Eastern Air Lines. Decades after his heroics against the Red Baron's Flying Circus, he again showed a war-weary nation what it took to survive against nearly insurmountable odds when he and seven others endured a harrowing three-week ordeal adrift without food or water in the Pacific during World War II.
For the first time, Enduring Courage peels back the layers of hero to reveal the man himself. With impeccable research and a gripping narrative, John F. Ross tells the unforgettable story of a man who pushed the limits of speed, endurance and courage and emerged as an American legend.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250033789
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 05/13/2014
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 43,779
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

JOHN F. ROSS is the author of War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America's First Frontier. Winner of the Fort Ticonderoga Prize for Contributions to American History, he has served as the Executive Editor of American Heritage and on the Board of Editors at Smithsonian magazine.


JOHN F. ROSS is the author of War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America's First Frontier. Winner of the Fort Ticonderoga Prize for Contributions to American History, he has served as the Executive Editor of American Heritage and on the Board of Editors at Smithsonian magazine.

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Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Feathered_Quill1 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author succeeds only in boring you to death with his portrayal of tactics in WW1. Very little time spent on other aspects of EVRs life.
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago