OPINIONSrnThe Flight of the Lone Eaglernby Justin Raimondorn”There is a hawk that is picking the birds out of our sky.rnShe killed the pigeons of peace and security.rnShe has taken honesty and confidence from nations and men.rnShe is hunting the lonely heron of liberty.”rn—Robinson JefFers, “Shiva”rnLindberghrnby A Scott BergrnNew York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons;rn628 pp., $30.00rnThe competition to be the first to tiaversernthe Atiantic by air was fierce:rnAt least three teams of aviators workedrnfeverishly to claim the prize. The triumphrnof “Lucky Lindy” was due not tornluck but to his insight that, as A. ScottrnBerg puts it, “success depended on simplicityrn— one set of wings, one engine,rnone pilot.” Tangled up in complexitiesrnboth technical and human, his rivalsrnnever made it off the ground. Lindbergh,rnthe Lone Eagle, soared over themrnall.rnBy the time he took off on his historicrnflight in a little single-engine monoplanernwith a minimal dashboard, he hadrnstiipped his life to the barest essentials.rnJust as every bit of ballast had to bernthrown overboard to ensure that the Spiritrnof Saint Louis would make it to Paris,rnso young Lindbergh, in order to reachrnthat point, had reduced his life to a singlernelement. Mere earthly pursuits never interestedrnhim; he lived and breathed aviationrnwhen the industry was in its infancy;rnhis first aviation-related gig was as an un-rnJustin Raimondo writes fromrnSan Francisco.rnpaid assistant to barnstorming fliers,rndmmming up crowds big enough to sustainrntheir aerial tour across the prairies.rnAs the plane flew into town, Lindberghrnstood on a wing. Possessed by the desirernto buy a plane of his own, he was also exhilaratedrnby the prospect of parachuting:rnAfter witnessing a flier fall off a wingrn2,000 feet in the air, Lindbergh, Berg informsrnus, “decided that he had to experiencernthat sensation.” His mother andrnfriends did their best to point out the obviousrndangers, but after he made thernjump, “life rose to a high level,” as he laterrnput it, “to a sort of exhilarated calmness.”rnCollege had bored him; the earthrncould not hold him, and he decided earlyrnon “that if I could fly for ten years beforernI was killed in a crash, it would be arnworthwhile trade for an ordinary lifetime.”rnLindbergh’s life was so far from ordinaryrnthat the distance can only be measuredrnin light-years. His celebrity wasrnunprecedented in its scope and intensity,rna fame which eventually reached thernpoint of mass hysteria and threatened tornimprison him, a phenomenon due onlyrnin part to the growth of mass communications.rnA secular saint idealized for hisrnpurity of purpose, he was venerated byrnmillions not just for what he had donernbut for what he was: the first tiuly modernrnAmerican hero.rnFrom the moment he landed in Paris,rnon May 26, 1927, Lindbergh was confrontedrnwith what Berg describes as “arnhuman tidal wave.” “Before he had gotrnthe door of his plane open, the first greatrnwave of humanity crashed over him.”rnHe was literally swept off his feet, thernsheer power of the screaming mob “renderingrnhim helpless as he floated overrnthe sea of heads.” He spent the rest of hisrnlife fleeing that mob, pursued by the media,rnhounded out of the country not onlyrnby the kidnapping and murder of hisrnchild but by the political climate in thernUnited States that ushered in the NewrnDeal.rnIn 1934, President Franklin D. Roo-rn28/CHRONICLESrnrnrn