Charles Lindbergh was the biggest celebrity of the first half of the twentieth century, and the first to be exposed to the full and unrelenting glare of the modern mass media. His name and face were everywhere - on movie screens, on the radio, in books, in magazines, in newspapers - after his transatlantic flight suddenly transformed the quiet and shy young Minnesotan into a national icon. In 1927, Americans hailed their new hero as both an apostle of modernity and a bastion of traditional values. When his baby was kidnapped and killed during the lowest days of the Great Depression, the nation wondered whether it was a sign of its moral shortcomings. As World War II broke out in Europe, Lindbergh became one of the first to use his celebrity to promote a cause. His impassioned speeches against American involvement in the war illuminate the intense debate over intervention in the late 1930s. Using documents culled from a variety of sources, Roberts and Welky explore the significance observers found in Charles Lindbergh at the height of his fame and examine the power and peril of modern celebrity. In doing so, they add depth to our understanding of American interwar culture.
Randy W. Roberts is Professor of History at Purdue University and specializes in recent U.S. history, U.S. sports history, and the history of popular culture. He is the author of Where the Domino Fell: America and Vietnam, Fifth Edition (with James S. Olson, Blackwell, 2006), Hollywood's America: United States History Through Its Films, Third Edition (with Steven Mintz, Blackwell, 2001), A Line in the Sand: The Alamo in Blood and Memory (with James S. Olson, 2001), My Lai: A Brief History with Documents (with James S. Olson, 1998), and John Wayne American (with James S. Olson, 1996). Among his many sport history publications are (with David Welky) One For The Thumb: The New Steelers Reader (2006), The Rock, the Curse, and the Hub: A Random History of Boston Sports (2005), Jack Dempsey: The Manassa Mauler (2003), The Steelers Reader (with David Welky, 2001), Winning Is the Only Thing: Sports in America since 1945 (with James Olson, 1989), and Papa Jack: Jack Johnson and the Era of White Hopes (1983). David Welky is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Central Arkansas and specializes in cultural history of the 1920s and 1930s. He is the author of (with Randy Roberts) One For The Thumb: The New Steelers Reader (2006) and The Steelers Reader (also with Randy Roberts, 2001).