Anne Morrow Lindbergh: A Biography

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9780385469739: Anne Morrow Lindbergh: A Biography

"A superb debut. With uncommon grace and poetic sensitivity, Susan Hertog has captured both the transcendent beauty and profound sorrow of a remarkable woman's struggle to find her place in the world. Whether soaring in the sky or deep in mourning, Anne Morrow Lindbergh comes vividly to life in this poignant, haunting, and lyrical work."
--Ron Chernow,
Author of Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
In this first full-length study of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Susan Hertog pierces the public image of Anne and Charles to reveal their story from inside the marriage, and gives us a true understanding of the author of the bestselling classic The Gift from the Sea. While biographies of Charles Lindbergh have captured his spirit as the twentieth century's first international celebrity, Susan Hertog plumbs the depths of Anne Lindbergh's search for her own identity and vision as she struggles to remain faithful to her marriage and to motherhood.

Anne Morrow, the daughter of the American ambassador to Mexico, came of age in the rarefied society of international business and politics. Shy and sensitive, yet rebellious and ambitious, she cultivated her independence and creativity at Smith College. In 1929, at the age of twenty-three, she married the already famous aviator Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh. Charles was the mirror to Anne's own ambition and her way out of a conventional straitlaced home. As hungry for life and adventurous as he, she harnessed his fame and his courage to become a groundbreaking aviator and writer. The tragic kidnapping and murder of their infant son became the price Anne paid for her marriage to a hero, and the catalyst for her passionate commitment to her family and to her work.

Illuminated by nearly five years of interviews with Anne Morrow Lindbergh, this book offers valuable insights into her thoughts on her life and writing. And it is the work that may finally unravel the mystery of Charles Lindbergh's entanglements in the German Reich, which threatened to destroy Charles and Anne's faltering marriage.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh is not only the story of a brilliant writer who probed the heart of womanhood, it is the anatomy of a marriage--the journey of a young bride who overcame the pressures of fame, personal tragedy, and social constraint to find answers that continue to illuminate the lives of women today.

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Review:

Susan Hertog managed to obtain 10 separate interviews with her very private subject (though not access to Anne Morrow Lindbergh's unpublished papers), and her personal involvement shows in every line of this impassioned biography. Hertog's searching account of the Lindbergh marriage explores the complex union of two people who loved each other deeply yet were emotionally ill-suited. Charles "saw the rebel heart inside the timid girl" and liberated a confined daughter of privilege into a world of adventure, but "[the] price she paid for her Prince" was high, including painful loneliness during his frequent absences and, most agonizingly, the 1932 death of their baby son. Though he was killed by kidnappers, in the Lindberghs' view he was equally a victim of the relentless publicity surrounding them. As the couple withdrew to protect their other children, Anne experienced a sense of isolation, but she was also liberated to explore her inner life and to delineate it in her writing--which was always supported by Charles. Hertog, who read Gift from the Sea (1955) as a new mother without knowing anything about its author, enthusiastically assesses that bestseller and other books in which Anne asserted that "a woman must come of age by herself," reminding readers that Anne Morrow Lindbergh is not the wife of a famous aviator, but a source of inspiration in her own right. --Wendy Smith

From the Back Cover:

"Detailed and comprehensive...a poignant story of a rewarding yet frustrating marriage."
--The Wall Street Journal

"Even if you read A. Scott Berg's biography of Charles A. Lindbergh, you shouldn't miss Susan Hertog's Anne Morrow Lindbergh. It's not the same story."
--The Chicago Sun-Times

"Hertog's new book is confident, graceful, and shrewd.... The carefully selected pictures are a joy.... The deep humanity of Anne Morrow Lindbergh is beautifully rendered."
--The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"It has the texture and fineness of hand embroidery. This is one life that will stay written...a life for every thinking person to contemplate."
--Commentary

"Susan Hertog's Anne Morrow Lindbergh restores this important poet to her rightful place in the pantheon of twentieth-century writers, one of the spirits by which this century knew itself and named itself....It should bring Anne Morrow Lindbergh to a new generation of readers."
--Erica Jong

"A wonderful book, truly worthy of its subject; Anne Morrow Lindbergh's was one of the extraordinary lives of the century, shaped by all its forces from politics and fame, from violent crime to feminism. And she emerges in the end as a woman of great faith and conviction. Hertog has captured this groundbreaking life with depth, breadth and feeling."
--Peggy Noonan

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