The Film & More|
DAVID McCULLOUGH, Host:. Hello. I'm David McCullough. Welcome to
Showcase Week and the American Experience special presentation of "Lindbergh."
He was a phenomenon of the 1920's, like bathtub gin and Gershwin. And in lots
of ways he was just like the heroes of old. He was brave and handsome. Like
David facing Goliath, he went forth alone. Like Daniel Boone or Lewis and
Clark, he was an authentic American pathfinder.
But Charles A. Lindbergh was something else, too, a new kind of hero. Airplanes
were the future and Lindbergh not only flew the Atlantic alone, but with his
wife as co-pilot, he opened new routes to Asia, Africa and Latin America,
flying longer and farther than anyone. "Lindbergh" is the story of one of the
most celebrated figures of the century and of a man more complicated and
contradictory than often portrayed: a crowd-pleaser who craved seclusion, the
man who made the Atlantic Ocean seem small in 1927 and who so wrongly thought
we could hide behind it in 1941.
"He was only a pilot," some say, yet he wrote beautifully, won the Pulitzer
Prize. He was so glamorous, so modest, so Midwestern American. And yet, he
seemed to admire the Nazis and in some of the things he said, he sounded very
un-American, indeed. In his last crusade, ahead of the crowd, he pleaded for
reason and sanity in how we treat the natural world. For Lindbergh, machines
were the future no longer.
And for all that has been written and said about him, he remains, in many ways,