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East to the dawn : the life of Amelia Earhart
Susan Butler
Adult Nonfiction TL540.E3 B88 1997

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From Publishers' Weekly:

By dying while still glamorous, the 40-year-old Amelia Earhart clinched her membership in the exclusive club of American icons. She certainly deserved it, more so perhaps than some of her fellow members: in addition to her record-breaking career as a pilot, she was a powerful advocate of women's rights (inspiring even Eleanor Roosevelt), a dedicated social worker, an airline founder, a lecturer at Purdue, a writer and even a fashion designer. As freelance financial journalist Butler's new biography demonstrates, Earhart had a tendency to dazzle all who came in contact with her. Unfortunately, Butler herself is so starstruck that what should be a compelling story becomes an effort for readers to get through. Her pedestrian and cliché-ridden prose ("She drove a car like a bat out of hell") occasionally turns comic ("People flowed through the house in a steady trickle, growing heavier on weekends"). And Butler's fascination with Amelia's dress sense quickly grows tedious: "Her hair blew in the breeze above a bronze and yellow silk scarf draped around her neck; her short-sleeved tan silk jersey shirt matched the color of her jodhpurs." Nevertheless, the sheer historical thrill of her disappearance over the Pacific in 1937, with the final, chilling radio transmission‘"We are now running north and south"‘makes for some excitement. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This biography of Amelia Earhart, one of several available, is a mixed bag. Butler, who has written for Barron's and the New York Times, is not overawed by her subject; her text is readable, well documented, and insightful. She devotes far more attention, however, to Earhart's genealogy than to the central event of her life: her attempted round-the-world flight and mysterious disappearance. The controversy over Earhart's flying skills is touched upon, but Butler's defense could have been more forceful and detailed, as could her handling of the various crash theories and Earhart's legacy for women in aviation. A minor quibble: Butler writes, "No other adventurer...had pulled off such a clever feat...no other adventurer could write" about her travel exploits; she then describes later how the reporter/ adventurer Nelly Bly had done exactly that in the previous century, a surprising oversight. Recommended for general collections, but don't look for major revelations. (Illustrations not seen.)‘Barbara Ann Hutcheson, Greater Victoria P.L., B.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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