Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Publicity Update: AMELIA EARHART: The Turbulent Life of an American Icon, by Kathleen Winters

Review from Booklist—December 1, 2010

“Winters follows her biography Anne Morrow Lindbergh (2006) with a refreshing look at Earhart.  Resisting tabloid tales, Winters focuses on responsible accounts and Earhart’s own writings to show how public demands and family pressures induced the aviatrix to fly beyond her capabilities.  Although she is lauded as one of the greatest pilots of all time, Earhart’s contemporaries were less charitable and more realistic, and while her death was mourned by all of them, it did not come as a great surprise.  Winters pinpoints this sentiment at its most poignant by quoting WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) founder Jackie Cochran, who recalled telling her friend before the last flight, “I wish you wouldn’t go off and commit suicide because that’s exactly what you’re going to do.”  With erudite analysis of everything from Earhart’s flying to her marriage and longtime financial support of her parents and sister, Winters proves there is still much to learn about this American icon.  Earhart’s disappearance is legendary; it’s long past time to know its back story and why a final crash was always on the horizon.”

Review from Library Journal—November 1, 2010

“In this latest installment of Earhart historiography, Winters (Anne Morrow Lindbergh: First Lady of the Air) explores her subject’s skills as an aviator and questions her character, thus providing another corrective to earlier Earhart hagiographies and popular perceptions.  Winters gives us a complex woman who pursued a frenetic career; endured and supported a dependent mother and sister; accomplished transcontinental, transatlantic and Pacific flights although lacking extensive aeronautical savvy; managed to alienate some fellow women pilots by taking credit for their work in establishing separate records for aviatrixes; and padded the record of her time in the air to enhance an already overblown reputation. 

Earhart’s accomplishments have been scrutinized for some time, and Winters’s well-written and thoroughly researched study should serve as a final corrective.”

Reviewed in Kirkus—August 25, 2010

Pilot and aviation historian Winters (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 2006, etc.) succinctly lays out the facts of Amelia Earhart’s remarkable story from “a pilot’s perspective,” underscoring how Earhart tended to skimp on the details of preparation for her difficult flights—e.g., on her last fatal flight around the world, she had not mastered the radio technology and resisted learning Morse code, which would have allowed the ship circling Howland Island in the Pacific to find her. 
The author’s knowledge of aviation history renders this a proficient chronicle of women in flight.”

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