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Lindy Hop

March 07, 1993

Re Elaine Kendall's review of Dorothy Herrmann's "Anne Morrow Lindbergh: A Gift for Life" (Feb. 7):

Kendall is correct, but apparently much surprised to discover that an awful lot has been written about the Lindberghs over the years. Unfortunately, she fails to discover that much of it is garbage.

An honest writer or reviewer has to be willing to detect garbage when she sees, it and summarily toss it out, lest historical accuracy be sacrificed.

For example, author Hermann and reviewer Kendall insist on resurrecting the "suggestion" that Anne Lindbergh is responsible for the success of Charles' Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography, because "Anne's . . . distinctive style is clearly evident in the book, so totally different from Charles' flatly-written earlier account of the epochal flight."

This spurious scenario was dreamed up in 1953 by a few scurrilous reviewers of the book who were not beyond creating a little mischief. But why? Well, it should be remembered that Lindbergh was not held in high esteem by journalists of the day, who resented his lack of cooperation. In addition, they had serious differences with his political views. Naturally, the feeling was mutual.

Others have disposed of this odious issue long ago, but, coincidentally, it is discussed once again in Joyce Milton's recent book, "Loss of Eden," that was admirably reviewed by William Boyd in the Book Review of the same week.

Milton certainly puts to rest any idea that Charles Lindbergh did not write "The Spirit of St. Louis" when she states, "and, in fact, an examination of the manuscript, now part of the collection of the Library of Congress, leaves no doubt that the book was Charles' own work."

Indeed, contrary to Kendall's suggestion, it is likely that Anne Morrow Lindbergh would find her biographer much too generous.



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