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

Eddie Rickenbacker, perhaps more than anyone, helped America usher in a new era of technology in the early 20th century. Sponsored by St. Martin's Press.

After attaining world-renown as a racecar driver, Eddie later became America’s ace of aces in World War I, shooting down more enemy planes than anyone and ultimately being awarded the Medal of Honor. He pioneered a new kind of warfare, inventing maneuvers on the fly in the unchartered aerial terrain while battling Germany’s infamous Flying Circus squadron. Along with his comrades, Rickenbacker pushed the dangerously untested aircraft to the limits, all the while without parachutes or radios. 

The later chapters of Rickenbacker's life proved every bit as momentous. After buying Eastern Air Lines in 1938, he flexed his entrepreneurial wings and excelled in the business arena. During World War II he miraculously survived two horrendous plane crashes, one during a secret mission in the Pacific that left him lost at sea. Adrift for 24 days, Rickenbacker led his fellow survivors in catching food and water until they were rescued, teetering on the brink of death.

“Whether it’s the Indianapolis 500, a World War I dogfight, or a struggle for survival on a life raft in the Pacific, John Ross puts you there in the midst of the turbulent, often unbelievable life of Eddie Rickenbacker—the irascible, death-defying hero who helped set the dizzying pace of our modern, machine-driven age. Hold onto your seats.” —Nathaniel Philbrick, New York Times bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Bunker Hill

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.

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