November 17, 2013
Books to Know
WASHINGTON, DC — Winton Groom, author of New York Times bestseller “Forrest Gump,” — which won six Academy Awards as a film adaptation — has done it again. This time his narrative involves an adventurous trio of aviators set against the backdrop of global conflict.
A historical biography, “The Aviators” tells the story of three pilots – Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle and Charles Lindbergh – who during WWI and WWII courageously pushed the limits of aviation and redefined the meaning of hero.
“I am Forrest Gump,” Groom announced to the small crowd, as he entered CQ Roll Call offices near Capitol Hill, causing an array of laughter and applause. Charming, captivating and entertaining, Groom detailed his latest work and its subjects during the November 8 appearance in Washington, D.C.
“What prompted me was I started thinking one day who were the great American heroes, and I kept coming back to these guys and theses planes,” said Groom on his motivation for writing the book.
He continued, “The three of them were WWI heroes. They were rich. They were famous. They had families; they didn’t have to do anything. They were in their mid-40s, some in their 50s. But they bellied up, and they did the most dangerous things in their lives.”
Groom kept the audience fascinated and amused with stories of the pilots’ adventures, including Lindbergh’s famous flight across the Atlantic to Ireland, Rickenbacker’s stupendous crash and survival at sea, and Doolittle’s radical raid on Japan, all detailed in the book.
“All three were the crux of aviation,” Groom said of the pilots’ feats during and after the wars. All three received Medals of Honor and multiple other awards for their courageous work. After WWII, Lindbergh became involved with the environmentalist movement, Rickenbacker went back to Eastern Airlines as the head of the company, and Doolittle continued to serve in the Air Force.
“That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it,” Groom concluded, drawing an outburst of laughter from the audience.
At the end of the discussion, Groom opened the floor to questions and signed books for audience members.
“The Aviators” is available online and at book stores such as Barnes and Noble.