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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Blog Tour- THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLES LINDBERGH by @CFlemingBooks With An Interview & #Giveaway! @randomhousekids

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLES LINDBERGH by Candace Fleming Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About the Book:
Author: Candace Fleming
Pub. Date: February 11, 2020
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 384
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, KindleAudibleB&NiBooks, KoboTBD


Discover the dark side of Charles Lindbergh--one of America's most celebrated heroes and complicated men--in this riveting biography from the acclaimed author of The Family Romanov .

First human to cross the Atlantic via airplane; one of the first American media sensations; Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite; loner whose baby was kidnapped and murdered; champion of Eugenics, the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding; tireless environmentalist. Charles Lindbergh was all of the above and more. Here is a rich, multi-faceted, utterly spellbinding biography about an American hero who was also a deeply flawed man. In this time where values Lindbergh held, like white Nationalism and America First, are once again on the rise, The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh is essential reading for teens and history fanatics alike.

Hey Candace!! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books I’m glad you could stop by for a chat! THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLES LINDBERGH sounds like a really interesting read and I can’t wait for everyone to read it!

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLES LINDBERGH and his story?

Let me tell you a story.  In 1927, a taciturn 25 year-old college drop out (actually, he got kicked out of the University of Wisconsin even though his mother wrote his papers) flew solo from New York to Paris. It was a daring, never-before-done achievement that took extraordinary skill and sheer guts.  And it captured the world’s attention and imagination.  Practically overnight, this previously unknown young man became an international sensation.  Or as one newspaper reporter aptly put it, in a mere 36 hours, Charles Lindbergh went from “the flying kid to the Second Coming.”
That’s what most of know about him that flight.  But what about the rest of his life? It was the “rest of” part that interested me.  What did he do afterwards, with this incredible fame, this platform?  Because of his celebrity, people listened to him.  They followed him.  What did he do with that power?
The answers I uncovered both surprised and sickened me.   It also revealed some stunning parallels to our current times.
At first, Lindbergh did the usual things. He got married, although his choice of a wife -- Anne Morrow the youngest daughter of millionaire-turned-politician, Dwight Morrow was anything but usual.  Together, the couple traveled the world promoting the development of commercial aviation and charted air routes to Asia and Europe -- the very ones we use today.  They had a baby, Charles Lindbergh Jr. 
Then Lindbergh’s story got strange.
In 1932, twenty-two month old Charles Jr. was kidnapped.  Lindbergh spends the next six weeks searching for his son.  Despite help from local police, as well as the FBI, Lindbergh believed that he and he alone -- could bring the baby back.  He worked around the clock to bring the baby back.  But, as we all know, he failed.  Heartbroken and utterly alone, he went to the morgue where he did the unimaginable.  He examined his son’s badly decomposed remains, counting teeth and toes, over and over again, so there would be no mistake, performing what his daughter Reeve called, “the truest and most intimate measure of the father he was.”
Things got even stranger. 
After the kidnapping, for a time, Lindbergh worked in a secret lab conducting macabre medical experiments in hopes of unlocking the secret to eternal life.  Alongside him, was Nobel prize-winning Dr. Alexis Carrel who is best known nowadays for his radical beliefs in eugenics.  Lindbergh absorbed these beliefs.  By his mid-thirties he not only firmly believed in the superiority of the white race, but believed government programs should be put into place that protected that superiority.  Among the policies he endorsed?  A wall he called it ramparts, to keep non-white hordes” out of the country.  These beliefs led to an admiration and affection for Nazi Germany, a place he wanted to move his family to in the fall of 1938 just weeks before Kristallnacht.  Seriously!
He didn’t go, but his affinity for Nazi Germany led him to America First.  Using his still incredible fame, he drew millions of American listeners to his radio broadcasts.  He drew thousands to his rallies.  In his speeches, he railed against the media, and democratic institutions and insisted the best way to save the white race from “dilution” was for the United States to join with the Nazis in pushing back the tide of those “non-white hordes.”  He blamed Jewish Americans for pushing the United States into a war with Germany.
When Americans eventually turned on him and his rhetoric, he sort of faded away for a while, before writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, becoming an avid conservationist, and fathering not one. . . not two. . .  but three secret families.
Lindbergh’s story is disturbing and compelling.  It’s dark and light.  It’s heroic and hateful.  And it’s absolutely riveting.  

What are you working on now?

The story of teenager Carrie Buck, a poor, uneducated seventeen year old with absolutely no voice who in 1924 became the first person to be involuntarily sterilized under a new law passed by the Virginia legislature.  Authorities (men who believed in eugenics) claimed that she’d inherited traits of “feeble-mindedness” and “sexual promiscuity” from her mother.  In truth, this was just an excuse to get rid of those people whom the elite believed were “undesirable.”  Carrie’s case went all the way to the Supreme Court.  Incredibly, the Court upheld Virginia’s law and the damage it had inflicted on Carrie.  As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote in the majority decision, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”  Other states soon passed similar laws and began surgically sterilizing so-called “metal defectives” without their consent.  Some of those laws remained on the books until the 1970’s.  Scary, huh?  

What was the most interesting thing you found out about Lindbergh?

        Would it be okay if instead I told you about most interesting (and strangest) thing that happened to me while working on this book?  When submitted the manuscript, I began to worry.  Would anyone care about Lindbergh in 2020?  The Universe, as if often does, answered. 

The day after turning the book in, I went to the theater.  While waiting for the curtain to raise, I struck up a conversation with the elderly woman sitting next to me.  One topic led to another and eventually I mentioned that I wrote biographies for young readers.  I told her about my forthcoming Lindbergh book.  She gasped.  Then she reached into her purse and pulled out a plastic sandwich bag containing two artifacts a lapel pin and a New York to Paris compass in the shape of Lindberghs plane, the Spirit of St. Louis both commemorative items made back in 1927 to honor his historic flight.
“I’ve been carrying them around with me ever since I cleaned out my father’s house a few years back,” she said.  “I didn’t know what to do with them, but didn’t want to throw them out.”  She believed, she went on, that one day she would know exactly who to give them to.  Then she gave me a hug and exclaimed, “They’re meant for you!”
Crazy, huh?  And proof, I think, that Lindbergh still lingers. We can still hold him literally and figuratively in our hands.  In short, his life still has something important to say about our own.

Why write this book and why do you think in this day and age it was important for people to have this book to read?

        As we strive to bring diversity to our historical narratives, we should also re-examine those individuals, in particular white males, who’ve received a lion’s share of that narrative. Did they truly deserve their place? Do they still?
Lindbergh’s story also casts a bright light on our current American moment.  There are so many similarities common threads -- between his time and our own.  Celebrity politicians.  “Fake news.” The impact of technology on society. White nationalism.  Immigration.  “America First.” All these threads are woven throughout Lindbergh’s story. They were the fundamental issues of his day, issues he wrote and spoke about.  They were entwined with his life.  They formed him.  And while the book wasn’t written with the purpose of making facile analogies between then and now, readers are sure to notice those connecting threads.  By sweeping young readers into Lindbergh’s world, they can see their own from another perspective.  And that, of course, is the purpose of biographies.  After all, how else can we learn about living in the present if not by true telling stories from our past?

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

        Call me crazy, but I spent three years reading the voluminous writings of both Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh their journals, diaries, letters, articles, books.  I sought out newspaper articles of the time, and unpublished memoirs.  I delved into hundreds of pages of FBI files related to Charles and his work with the America First Committee.  I read countless police records and court transcripts and scoured microfilm at libraries and archives.   For me, reconstructing a life is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  I find a piece here, and a piece there and slowly, slowly fit them together until an entire picture emerges. 

Who is one historical person you’d love to write about?

        Marie Antoinette

What inspired you to write nonfiction?

        Writing about history is really just an extension of my love of stories. After all, 

some of the best stories are true ones tales of heroism and villainy made more 

incredible by the fact they really happened.

Lightning Round Questions

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
        I’m currently reading THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE by Ruta Sepetys

What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?
        Hufflepuff Im Badger proud!
Twitter or Facebook?
Favorite Superhero?

Favorite TV show?
        Schitt’s Creek Im still in mourning over its last season.

Sweet or Salty?

Any Phobias?

Song you can’t get enough of right now?
        Godzilla its good to run to.

2020 Movie you’re most looking forward to?
          Emma I love Jane Austen way more than Eminem

Thanks so much Candace for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLES LINDBERGH!
About Candace:

Candace Fleming awarded herself the Newbery Medal in fifth grade after scraping the gold sticker off the class copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond and pasting it onto her first novela ten-page, ten-chapter mystery called Who Done It? Shes been collecting awards (her own, not Elizabeth George Speare’s) ever since.

Today, Candace is the versatile and acclaimed author of more than forty books for children and young adults, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize honored The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of the Russian Empire; Boston Globe/Horn Book Award-winning biography, The Lincolns; the bestselling picture book, Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!; the Sibert-Award-winning Giant Squid; and the beloved Boxes for Katje. She contributed the chapter on Katharine of Aragon to Fatal Throne. Photo credit: Michael Lionstar.

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will win a signed finished copy of THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLES LINDBERGH, US Only.

Tour Schedule:
Week One:

Week Two:

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