“THREATENING LETTERS ARE BEGINNING TO COME IN”: THE WARTIME JOURNALS OF CHARLES A. LINDBERGH, INSCRIBED BY HIM
LINDBERGH, Charles A. The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, (1970). Thick octavo, original blue cloth gilt, cartographic endpapers, original dust jacket. $2600.
First edition, illustrated with numerous black-and-white photographs, inscribed on the title page: “To Gene Gordon with best wishes, Charles A. Lindbergh.”
After the kidnapping and murder of their first son in 1932, Lindbergh, his wife, and their second son moved to Europe, where Lindbergh was able to inspect Germany’s air force installations. “As a consequence of his inspection visits (as well as similar visits in Poland, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and France), Colonel Lindbergh became convinced that German military aviation surpassed that of all other European states and might soon approach that of the United States… He feared that American involvement in the war could cost the lives of over a million young Americans, and he was persuaded that the United States could successfully defend itself in the Western Hemisphere… In April 1941 he joined the America First Committee and became the leading spokesman for that noninterventionist organization. Lindbergh was not pro-Nazi and did not want Hitler’s Germany to triumph in either Europe or America. But interventionists called him an isolationist and charged him with serving the Nazi cause. He denied charges of anti-Semitism, but his reputation never recovered from allegations that he was pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic” (ANB). The famous aviator, who flew the first solo transatlantic flight in 1927, and his aviator wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, began to publish memoirs and their journals after the close of WWII, partly in an effort to rehabilitate Lindbergh’s image, which had been badly tarnished by his involvement with the America First Committee. The tactic worked: Lindbergh’s 1953 autobiography, The Spirit of St. Louis, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1954. The present volume includes entries from 1938 to 1945.