"They call me 'Lucky', but luck isn't enough": Rare First Edition of Charles Lindbergh's We; inscribed by him to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford


LINDBERGH, Charles A. [Henry Ford].


Item Number: 109846

New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1927.

Rare first edition association copy of Lindbergh’s definitive autobiography. Octavo, original pictorial cloth, pictorial endpapers, illustrated. Association copy, inscribed by the author to close personal friend Henry Ford and his wife Clara, “To Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford Sincerely Charles A. Lindbergh.” Lindbergh developed a long-term friendship with Ford who was well known for his newspaper The Dearborn Independent, also known as The Ford International Weekly. The paper reached a circulation of 900,000 by 1925, second only to the New York Daily News, largely due to a quota system for promotion imposed on Ford dealers. Lawsuits regarding anti-Semitic material published in the paper caused Ford to close it, and the last issue was published in December 1927.Lindbergh, too, gained a reputation as an anti-Semite with the publication of a controversial Reader’s Digest article in November 1939 and a series of nationwide radio addresses criticizing the Roosevelt administration for attacking Germany. In late 1940 Lindbergh became spokesman of the non-interventionist America First Committee, soon speaking to overflow crowds at Madison Square Garden and Chicago’s Soldier Field, with millions listening by radio. President Franklin Roosevelt publicly decried Lindbergh’s views as those of a “defeatist and appeaser”, comparing him to U.S. Rep. Clement L. Vallandigham, who had led the “Copperhead” movement that had opposed the American Civil War. Lindbergh promptly resigned his commission as a colonel in the U.S. Army Air Corps, writing that he saw “no honorable alternative” given that Roosevelt had publicly questioned his loyalty. In 1927, the year of the present volume’s publication, Charles Lindbergh flew his Spirit of St. Louis to Ford Airport in Dearborn, Michigan. Upon arrival, Henry Ford accepted Lindbergh’s invitation for a ride. Though Ford had been invested in aviation since 1909, this was his first trip in an airplane. Laid in is a Western Union telegram dated August 15, 1947 from Clara Ford to Irving Imoberstag, the husband of Clara Ford’s niece Frances Imoberstag née Bryant. Near fine in the original dust jacket which is in very good condition. A remarkable association copy.

We is the autobiography of the famous flier, Charles A. Lindbergh, written almost immediately after his famous flight across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris on May 20–21, 1927. This historic flight by Charles Lindbergh took him from being a little known US Postal Service Air Mail pilot and made him into one of the most famous if not the most famous person in the world. The main impetus for the flight was the $25,000 Orteig Prize offered by the French-born New York hotelier Raymond Orteig. He offered the prize to be awarded to the pilot of the first successful nonstop flight made in either direction between New York City and Paris. The book, which was also soon translated into most major languages, remained at the top of best-seller lists well into 1928, with more than 650,000 copies sold in the first year, and earned Lindbergh more than $250,000. The book's great commercial success was considerably aided by its publication coinciding with the start of his three-month tour of the United States in the Spirit on behalf of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics. The nation became obsessed with Lindbergh during the tour in which he was seen in person by more than 30 million Americans, a quarter of the nation's then population. No other author before or since ever had such an extensive, highly publicized tour that helped promote a book than did Lindbergh's "We" of himself and the Spirit during their 22,350-mile tour of the US. He visited 82 cities in all 48 states during which the nation's nascent aviation superhero delivered 147 speeches and rode 1,290 miles in parades.

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