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Arnold Foster on:
Charles Lindbergh's Heroism

Arnold Foster Q: Was Charles Lindbergh a hero?

AF: Charles Lindbergh was a great hero. And this was his value to the isolationist movement. He was the most idolized man in their entire group, which is why he became so important. It wasn't what he was offering in terms of substantive political position. Senator Wheeler, Senator Nye, Congressman Fish...there were a dozen who were far more learned in the politics of the situation. But none were more popular and more readily accepted as a great American hero. I think he spoiled his own reputation.

Q: So as a hero, did he fall?

AF: Oh, I think he did. Oh sure. No question about it. They tried to rehabilitate him after the war. I think it was President Eisenhower who gave him an assignment after the war to go over into Europe and to look at some industrial air situations. They did a lot to try to rehabilitate him. Because by the time we had gotten into the war and it was clear where he had been in the initial stages, and was wrong as in effect, a pro-Nazi.

Q: Did he ever admit that he was wrong?

AF: I doubt it. I don't remember ever seeing it. I think he argued that he was right. But the way the powers fell into line, the side that he thought should win couldn't win. That didn't make him wrong.

Q: Did he change in his later life?

AF: No. He offered, I think to Harcourt Brace, don't hold me to it, his notes, his diaries. And it came out early in the seventies, as I recall it. And if you read his minutes, his notes, his diary notations, you'll find right down till the last day, he blamed the same forces--the Roosevelt Administration, the British, the Jews and others for pushing the United States into war improperly and for making the wrong side win--our side.

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