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Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed

John F. Ross; Read by Edward Herrmann

Macmillan Audio

The sensational true story of Eddie Rickenbacker, America's greatest flying ace

At the turn of the twentieth century two new technologies—the car and airplane—took the nation’s imagination by storm as they burst, like comets, into American life. The brave souls that leaped into these dangerous contraptions and pushed them to unexplored extremes became new American heroes: the race car driver and the flying ace.

No individual did more to create and intensify these raw new roles than the tall, gangly Eddie Rickenbacker, who defied death over and over with such courage and pluck that a generation of Americans came to know his face better than the president’s. The son of poor, German-speaking Swiss immigrants in Columbus, Ohio, Rickenbacker overcame the specter of his father’s violent death, a debilitating handicap, and, later, accusations of being a German spy, to become the American military ace of aces in World War I and a Medal of Honor recipient. He and his high-spirited, all-too-short-lived pilot comrades, created a new kind of aviation warfare, as they pushed their machines to the edge of destruction—and often over it—without parachutes, radios, or radar.

Enduring Courage is the electrifying story of the beginning of America’s love affair with speed—and how one man above all the rest showed a nation the way forward. No simple daredevil, he was an innovator on the racetrack, a skilled aerial dualist and squadron commander, and founder of Eastern Air Lines. Decades after his heroics against the Red Baron’s Flying Circus, he again showed a war-weary nation what it took to survive against nearly insurmountable odds when he and seven others endured a harrowing three-week ordeal adrift without food or water in the Pacific during World War II.

For the first time, Enduring Courage peels back the layers of hero to reveal the man himself. With impeccable research and a gripping narrative, John F. Ross tells the unforgettable story of a man who pushed the limits of speed, endurance and courage and emerged as an American legend.

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1.
 
 
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
 
One warm day in 1905, a scrawny, towheaded fourteen-year-old raced down the sidewalk toward a crowd gathering at High and Broad streets in Columbus, Ohio, easily overtaking several horse-drawn wagons plodding along the brick-lined pavement, bells jingling on their reins. He dodged around customers exiting wide-awninged stores as a trolley hummed down the middle of High beneath a series of iron arches hung with still-novel electric lights.
Eddie Rickenbacher wriggled through the crowd to reach a glittering object that he would soon learn
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  • John F. Ross, author of Enduring Courage, on The Early Days of Aviation

    What was it like to soar at 10,000 feet with an open cockpit while worrying about having to engage enemy planes? John F. Ross shares a story of what it was like for pilots during the early days of aviation from his new book, Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed.

  • John F. Ross, author of Enduring Courage, on The Early Days of Automobile Racing

    The cars of today are a far cry from what they were more than a century ago. John F. Ross shares a story of Eddie Rickenbacker's racing days and the early days of the automobile from his new book, Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed.

  • John F. Ross, author of Enduring Courage, on The Dawn of the Age of Speed

    Early in the twentieth century, two new American super figures—the racecar driver and the flying ace—would become the embodiment of American skilled manhood, and no individual did more to create and intensify these new roles than Eddie Rickenbacker. Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed by John F. Ross, available in bookstores everywhere.

  • John F. Ross, author of Enduring Courage, on The Terrible Choice Faced by Early Pilots

    Early in the twentieth century, two new American super figures—the racecar driver and the flying ace—would become the embodiment of American skilled manhood, and no individual did more to create and intensify these new roles than Eddie Rickenbacker. John F. Ross shares the terrible choice faced by early aviators from his new book, Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed, available in bookstores everywhere.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • John F. Ross; Read by Edward Herrmann

  • JOHN F. ROSS is the author of War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America's First Frontier. Winner of the Fort Ticonderoga Prize for Contributions to American History, he has served as the Executive Editor of American Heritage and on the Board of Editors at Smithsonian magazine.

  • John F. Ross © Scott Warren
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    Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed

    John F. Ross; Read by Edward Herrmann

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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Macmillan Audio

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