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East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart

Butler, Susan

ISBN 10: 0201311445 / ISBN 13: 9780201311440
Published by Addison Wesley, Reading, Mass., 1997
Condition: Very Good + Hardcover
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About this Item

First printing, September 1999, stated; full number line. Inscribed, signed, and dated by the author on the front endpaper: "For Bradford Washburn / Susan Butler / February, 1998." Also signed and dated by Washburn in the upper corner of the same page: "Bradford Washburn / 1998." A unique and compelling association copy, given that Washburn (1910-2007) not only knew Earhart, he was approached by her, upon the recommendation of her husband, George Putnam, who had published Washburn's first book, "Among the Alps with Bradford" (1927), written as a mere teen, to be her navigator on what turned out to be her fatal flight. As Butler describes the scene (pages 366-367), Earhart "charmed him--and probably knew instantly he wouldn't do." Butler says, Washburn "knew he didn't have the navigational experience to hit such a tiny island as Howland." She quotes Washburn: "I backed out of it with their clearly not having asked me to be navigator. She would naturally have wanted someone who agreed with her plan, and I didn't. I would have turned it down anyway because my navigation experience was not adequate to handle that kind of a job. Very frankly I knew all about how to get it done, but I couldn't do it." Nor could the navigator (Fred Noonan) Earhart eventually settled upon. Washburn's unsuccessful job interview allowed him to go on to a long and distinguished career as a climber (a number of Alaskan first ascents, some with his wife Barbara (1914-2014)), cartographer, photographer, and director of Boston's Museum of Science. Association copy's don't get much cooler than this. The book is unmarked; spine slanted; corners sharp, spine ends bumped. The dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $27.50); light edgewear at spine ends and corners. Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 005748

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Bibliographic Details

Title: East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart

Publisher: Addison Wesley, Reading, Mass.

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good +

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good +

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition

About this title


The myths surrounding the life and legacy of Amelia Earhart run the gamut from the mundane to the ridiculous. Since her disappearance in 1937, people have questioned not only her actual death, but many aspects of her life, including the nature of the relationship with her husband, the flamboyant publishing magnate George Palmer Putnam, and even her very competency as a flier. Now, with East to the Dawn , Susan Butler offers the most comprehensive account to date of Earhart's extraordinary life—and finally sets the record straight.The image we have of Amelia Earhart today—a tousle-haired, androgynous flier clad in shirt, silk scarf, leather jacket, and goggles—is only one of her many personas, most of which have been lost to us through the years. Many of her accomplishments have been obscured by a growing obsession with the mystery of her disappearance. As well, Earhart herself was a master of putting on faces: a woman constantly striving for success and personal freedom in the 1920s and '30s, she could scarcely afford to let on when something was troubling her. Through years of research, however, as well as interviews with many of the surviving people who knew Amelia, Susan Butler has recreated a remarkably vivid and multi-faceted portrait of this enigmatic figure. As a result, readers experience Amelia in all her permutations: not just as a pilot, but also as an educator, a social worker, a lecturer, a businesswoman, and a tireless promoter of women's rights; we experience a remarkably energetic and enterprising woman who succeeded in life beyond her wildest dreams, while never losing sight of her beginnings; and we experience a woman who battled incredible odds to achieve her fame, while ensuring that her success would secure a path for women after her.Some odds, are insurmountable, however, and this fact became painfully evident on the last leg of Earhart's round-the-world- flight. In the chapters describing the last flight, Butler deals with and dispels some of the most pernicious myths about Amelia—for instance, that her disappearance was planned as part of an espionage mission against the Japanese. Instead, she offers a less romantic but ultimately tragic scenario: that the Electra's limited navigational equipment was unable to find Howland Island—a piece of land the size of the Cleveland Airport—in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and a great flier died at sea.Butler masterfully renders this portrait of the first lady of aviation in a story filled with drama, pathos, and humor. East to the Dawn is a landmark biography, and will be the definitive life of Amelia Earhart for years to come.

From the Back Cover:

Of the dozen or so books (mostly wild fantasies)that I have read about Amelia Earhart, Susan Butler's is the only one which re-creates accurately that singular woman whom my father was in love with, as indeed was I, aged ten, when the lady vanished.
Gore Vidal

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