Tidbits on a rainy Monday

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
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.”




16 thoughts on “Tidbits on a rainy Monday

  1. I’m so glad you and David have each other. I hear the news and history from Art, but not over breakfast because he’s always digesting the news (often not happily) and I’m reading the comics.


  2. Enjoyable post. Here’s a bit of trivia that applies in a small way: A researcher at the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, WI, identified the wood in the ladder used by the men who kidnapped the Lindbergh child. That bit of technical work was said to have been an important factor in the conviction of the crooks. I worked at the Lab (many years later, for sure) and an exhibit in the lobby still recognized the event.


  3. Anne Morrow Lindbergs book “A Gift From the Sea” was my mother’s favorite book. I’m glad to see that it is still being read. Thanks for the memory.


  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Morrow_Lindbergh
    I admire the heck outta her. I have just finished unpacking her books. The link above has a book list, and I have first editions of her first three. How I got a copy of “Wave of the Future” is lost in time. Her diaries and letters are fascinating. I recommend them. There is a bio on her that’s mostly about him, but it appears he abused her as well as all those other ladies and kids.

    31 is very good. G and I are celebrating 30 next month. Kind of exciting. 🙂


  5. As you point out, history is always with us. I just got back from a trip to Savannah, driving through Petersburg, Richmond, Fredericksburg and couldn’t help but think of the lives lost there during the Civil War. As for me, I vote SOS: Stay Out of Syria.


  6. Most history lessons I have been exposed to, no, not over breakfast fare. But yours I would probably enjoy as long as I could have my hot tea.


  7. Basic question to ask is: Are people there better off now? The people in Iraq are not. Things like electricity, gas, medical service and drugs, peace and quiet, are hard to come by in Iraq. As for Syria, why help those rebels who are aligned with Al Qaeda?


  8. I was well aware of the friction between these two egotists. In fact, Lindbergh was accused of being a communist and/or fascist. I consider David lucky and it appears he knows it.


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