This morning, I began reading Lynne Olson’s latest book Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941. Lately,I have read reviews of the book in The Economist magazine (4/28) and The Washington Post (4/21). I expect to see another in the NY Review of Books. This is a very good book.
Lindbergh was an average guy from Minnesota who might have ended his days running a gas station somewhere in the Midwest, according to Mrs. Morrow (Anne’s mother). Instead, owing to his plucky courage he flew The Spirit of Saint Louis, developed from the donations of a group of Saint Louis businessmen, from New York to Europe, the first transAtlantic flight. The flight captured the public imagination and caused him no end of grief and fame.
I became interested in Anne Morrow Lindbergh from reading Olson’s account, and I ordered A Gift From the Sea. Although I have known of the book since its publication in 1955, I had never read it. Over the years, I read excerpts of the book in magazines, as well as other things Anne wrote. I know I am going to love it. Well maybe. I’ll give it a try.
Olson’s new book reminds me that from the Gitgo, the US has been torn by the two positions of Isolationism and Internationalism. Both sides have compelling arguments, and David and I have discussions about both positions. This is a vexing problem, and one Mr Obama faces at present with regard to Syria.
George W. Bush was an interventionist…in Iraq, and in Africa with the war on AIDS. I believe historians will decide Bush and Tony Blair (and Hillary Clinton) were right when it came to the intervention in Iraq.
David and I have been discussing this issue for years. David is on one side and me on the other. I don’t want to argue with anyone anymore about this topic. Neither of us voted for Bush, but we disagreed on Iraq.
Amazingly, Roosevelt and Lindbergh had the same interventionist versus isolationist argument over the war in Europe. Lincoln had the same argument with some of his advisors over the Civil War. Actually, Lincoln found himself caught between Abolitionists who wanted to fight to end slavery and moderate Republicans and Northern Democrats who did not.
Lindbergh, Charles (Photo credit: San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives)
There I go again getting lost in history. Poor David, he must listen to me babble over breakfast. I mean how would you like a history lesson with your corn flakes? This morning, I asked him if it was hard to live with a historian. He said, “No, I love it.”