ATLANTIC FEVER : LINDBERGH, HIS COMPETITORS, AND THE RACE TO CROSS THE ATLANTIC
by Joe Jackson
On May 20, 1919, a Frenchman by the name of Raymond Orteig offered a prize of $25,000 for the first aviator to cross the Atlantic Ocean, in one flight. No stopping was allowed from either Paris to New York or New York to Paris. The prize lay dormant for eight years. Then, for five stressful weeks during the spring of 1927, sixteen competitors took to the skies while the world held its breath. It was considered the most spectacular race ever held. For sure, it was one of the most dangerous.
Atlantic Fever is one tremendous, hefty book. (If you include the Index, it tops out at 525 pages.) Joe Jackson does a hell of a job writing about the fliers, the financial backers, the construction of the planes, and the history of aviation. It certainly kept me absorbed. If you can't remember all of the flights and when they occurred, there is a transatlantic time line after the Epilogue. There's even a Glossary. Truly a great read.
Very highly recommended.