Hot Best Seller

Amelia Earhart: A Biography

Availability: Ready to download

She died mysteriously before she was forty. Yet in the last decade of her life Amelia Earhart soared from obscurity to fame as the best-known female aviator in the world. She set record after recordamong them, the first trans-Atlantic solo flight by a woman, a flight that launched Earhart on a double career as a fighter for women's rights and a tireless crusader for She died mysteriously before she was forty. Yet in the last decade of her life Amelia Earhart soared from obscurity to fame as the best-known female aviator in the world. She set record after record—among them, the first trans-Atlantic solo flight by a woman, a flight that launched Earhart on a double career as a fighter for women's rights and a tireless crusader for commercial air travel. Doris L. Rich's exhaustively researched biography downplays the “What Happened to Amelia Earhart?” myth by disclosing who Amelia Earhart really was: a woman of three centuries, born in the nineteenth, pioneering in the twentieth, and advocating ideals and dreams relevant to the twenty-first.


Compare

She died mysteriously before she was forty. Yet in the last decade of her life Amelia Earhart soared from obscurity to fame as the best-known female aviator in the world. She set record after recordamong them, the first trans-Atlantic solo flight by a woman, a flight that launched Earhart on a double career as a fighter for women's rights and a tireless crusader for She died mysteriously before she was forty. Yet in the last decade of her life Amelia Earhart soared from obscurity to fame as the best-known female aviator in the world. She set record after record—among them, the first trans-Atlantic solo flight by a woman, a flight that launched Earhart on a double career as a fighter for women's rights and a tireless crusader for commercial air travel. Doris L. Rich's exhaustively researched biography downplays the “What Happened to Amelia Earhart?” myth by disclosing who Amelia Earhart really was: a woman of three centuries, born in the nineteenth, pioneering in the twentieth, and advocating ideals and dreams relevant to the twenty-first.

30 review for Amelia Earhart: A Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ivana Books Are Magic

    What can I say after finishing Amelia Earhart: A Biography? It is a mighty fine book. Written by Doris L. Rich, this book feels well researched. This biography is intelligently written and perfectly paced. It is very linear, it doesn't go back and forth but follows the story of Amelia's life quite evenly. You get the feeling that every period of Amelia's life was of an interest to the biographer, and that seems to me a good thing. This biography is not very long (around 300 pages) but the book What can I say after finishing Amelia Earhart: A Biography? It is a mighty fine book. Written by Doris L. Rich, this book feels well researched. This biography is intelligently written and perfectly paced. It is very linear, it doesn't go back and forth but follows the story of Amelia's life quite evenly. You get the feeling that every period of Amelia's life was of an interest to the biographer, and that seems to me a good thing. This biography is not very long (around 300 pages) but the book is packed with information and the writing is, in that sense, very dense. It pains a very interesting picture of a known heroine. Only at times did I feel like the author wasn't objective and tried to push her own opinions about Amelia. There were many things about this book that I liked, and only a few that I didn't, so perhaps I could go so far as to say that I loved reading this book. It provided me with a whole new insight into the life of Amelia Earhart. Amelia Earhart- here is a woman that almost everyone has heard of, but few know in detail. I suppose that is the case with many legendary aviators. Often the legend obscures the person. I was somewhat familiar with Amelia before reading this book, but there was also a lot that I didn't know, especially about her private life. On overall, I do feel I've learned a lot from this book. For example, I had no idea that Amelia's father was a drunk, that her upbringing was so uncertain, or that she faced financial problems all her life. I didn't know she had to work so hard for so long, to balance five jobs at once, and on top of that, to give endless interviews and lectures, often exhausted and overworked. I knew about her bravery and aviation accomplishments, but I didn't know about her kindness, patience, self-disciple and all the hard work she had to put it into everything she ever did. Amelia had to work hard for very cent. As she one said, airplanes don't grow on trees. Because this book is so rich in historical information, I really took my time reading this one. I feel it is the kind of book that demands concentration. I didn't want to miss anything, so I read it slowly. I really like how the author focused more on Amelia's life than on her death, for it is her life that matters the most. Amelia was such a brave, kind and hardworking person and that is what we should remember, respect and admire about her. I found her life story fascinating and I feel like I learned a lot about her by reading this book. Much has been said about her death, and this book touches on that subject, but isn't her life what should primarily interest us? Another think I like is how realistic this book is. It doesn't glam things up. From urine drenched cockpits (female pilots had no way to relieve themselves on solo flights, did they?) to description of hardships and perils of early aviation. Early aviation was extremely dangerous. Regardless of gender, all early aviators risked their lives and were quite heroic. Without their sacrifices, commercial aviation would perhaps still be in development. Some aviators still risk their lives, now when I think of it. There are always explorers who will push the borders and many will probably die untimely dearth in the process. One could ask oneself- what is all for? Was it really necessary for Amelia to risk it all? There are certainly many questions one could ask not only about her life but those of many other female aviators. There is only downside to this book. While it is very real, I can't really be sure of how historically accurate it is. I have a feeling the writer tried to push her own mind a few times, especially in matters of G.P and Amelia's marriage. In addition, the author rarely lists her sources. I would have appreciated more footnotes and explanation of where did Rich get her data from. How can I be sure of how well the book is researched if I don't see the footnotes explaining where the claims come from? Sure, some things are common knowledge, but not all of them. In addition, the extremely negative way in which G.P is painted toward the end doesn't really have historical backing. It is all gossip more or less. We don't know for sure whether Amelia was unhappy in marriage with him. When a woman dies, one always blames the husband. But things are a bit more complicated than that. Still, even if I'm a bit uncertain about some parts of this biography, on overall I did enjoy it. It is very educating and you can always do your own research if you want to check on something or if you are not certain about some aspect of this early aviation heroine's life. Anyhow, I do recommend this biography. I think the author really did a great job of painting Amelia's personality for us while presenting a lot of interesting personal information. Whether it is 100 percent historically accurate, I can't say but a book like this one is a great place to start. If you have an interest in aviation or Amelia's life story, you'll surely enjoy it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joe White

    The author was clearly attempting to write a sequential timeline biography and not an evaluative personal criticism based on subjectivity. The material was fairly clearly drawn from first person interviews and as many relevant recorded documents of record as probably could be found without reaching into extant editorial opinions. In relevant sections, Amelia's own recorded statements or writings were injected. The result is that this appears to be an unbiased historical record of the facts that The author was clearly attempting to write a sequential timeline biography and not an evaluative personal criticism based on subjectivity. The material was fairly clearly drawn from first person interviews and as many relevant recorded documents of record as probably could be found without reaching into extant editorial opinions. In relevant sections, Amelia's own recorded statements or writings were injected. The result is that this appears to be an unbiased historical record of the facts that composed a large portion of Earhart's life. For myself, I found that the documentary technique used by the author caused the reading to become repetitive in several places and required close concentration to maintain the momentum of the overall story. In particular, listing the guests at dinners, travelling companions, and associates involved in particular speaking tours or business endeavors added a slowing mass to be read through. The meticulous listings of ancillary people did add to the impression of investigative quality, but I think could have been presented differently without loss of impact. In several places a person would be mentioned by first-name/last-name and in the ensuing storyline, the person in question as an informed observed may have had a comment added where the speaker was referred to only by last name. In several instances I had to go back several paragraphs or pages to see who had made the statement and regain a context for the excerpted tale. A problem with this type of narrative is that the set of people for an event might change, but most of the individuals involved would recur as part of a different set, which meant that multiple observations from any given person had a short defined context related to an event, and without the strong emphasis on a dated timeline, the events, quotes, and observations became somewhat jumbled. The author set forth several of Amelia's beliefs and efforts to vocalize her beliefs. These included equal rights for women in all endeavors, the attempt to avoid entering a war, a view of marriage that indicated inequality and servitude, and a need to redo the mail contract subsidy system for fledgling corporate air transport companies. These views were echoed repetitively. However since most examples were direct quotes from Amelia, then it reflected her emphasis over time to state an outlook. While the author avoided editorial opinion, she indicated in several places that Amelia had a need to fly and was quoted as "Flying for the fun of it". However given the elements indicating stress, it seemed that Amelia's flying consisted mostly of timed long distance efforts. Precision flying and recreational flying from a defined airport did not seem to be practiced. In order to meet the goal of faster and farther, new planes had to be obtained for many of the attempts. The acquisition of these new planes, along with the support planning and logistics of the attempts bred a pattern of an exhausting promotional existence required to fund the future effort. The overall impression of Amelia's attitude toward the commercialism of publicity would lead me to believe that flying was barely fun at all and made her flying activity hard to cost justify. Her relationship with Putnam was depicted as a mutual interdependence where he needed her as a symbol for publicity, and she needed him for campaign exploitation management. Several historic innuendos were mentioned where either Amelia had other close personal relationships, or was often on the verge of terminating her relationship with Putnam. Certainly their personal relationship, and Putnam's personality tempered the fun of flying. For suggestions of future biographers and historians, I think it would help to have a graphic interactive linear timeline with labeled dates/times, where a progress marker such as a cursor could be moved up and down the line, with any given point on the line displaying the time stamp and displaying a set of pop-up texts that deal with individual topics of the story line. For example, on a given date there might be a speech in a given city at a given time on a given topic where quotes could be represented as separate pop-up, along with a pop-up text box of an associates listing with further pop-ups of individual quotes at the time on that specific topic. If a give date had more than one significant event that was relevant to the story line, then that event could be represented as a tree of its own separate pop-up topics. For example, Amelia's mother and sister consumed a significant part of this story because of the nature of their relationships and financial needs, yet while they had an impact on attitudes and outcomes, they were a peripheral issue regarding most of the action choices that determined how Amelia executed her lifestyle. This would allow a reader to more easily segregate information and make determinations as to the impact on events and the lifestyle of the biograph subject which the topics represent. Another suggestion for future historians would be to graphically depict or data catalog the flight records of competitors, the types of aircraft in use, the airfields, and weather conditions of flights, and some surrounding biographical data regarding principals involved in the early days of flight. In this book, there were several mentions of flight accidents and deaths. In the case of the Amelia's accidents, there were some details given which impacted or caused the mishaps. When critics mention that Amelia was not a good flier, then a statistical data bank of contemporary crash analysis, might allow the reader to have more informed opinion. For example a table of plane types with performance specs and maintenance records could be referenced when race results were listed or accidents listed. The age and background of other pilots involved in those flying efforts would yield a better comparison for evaluation of Amelia's skillset. Other aspects outside of speaking engagements were not dwelt upon, as the central focus of the book was on Amelia's status in respect to her flights and final disappearance. This led to a more sparse recounting of her clothing and luggage lines. I got the impression in the book, that these activities were engaged in only as funding for further flying projects, however some people might regard those activities as significant in themselves for the engagement of a successful business. Amelia's interest in the mechanics of planes was stated in several places throughout the book, but no dialogues or writings with plane designers or mechanics were included to indicate whether Amelia could have had a mechanical/engineering aeronautical career had her last flight been successful. After all, this area specifically was the backbone for the focus of her flying, and might deserve more critique for writers analyzing her ambitions.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    This was the first book about Amelia Earhart that I read, and at the time I thought it was good. But having later read Susan Butler's and also Mary Lovell's biographies of Amelia Earhart, I have rated this in last place of the three. Doris Rich did not go into the depth that either Susan Butler or Mary Lovell did. About the best I can say about Ms. Rich's version is some of the background she provided relative to the early days of commercial aviation in the United States - how difficult it was This was the first book about Amelia Earhart that I read, and at the time I thought it was good. But having later read Susan Butler's and also Mary Lovell's biographies of Amelia Earhart, I have rated this in last place of the three. Doris Rich did not go into the depth that either Susan Butler or Mary Lovell did. About the best I can say about Ms. Rich's version is some of the background she provided relative to the early days of commercial aviation in the United States - how difficult it was in the days before pressurized cabins, when the maximum altitude was about 10,000 feet and the aircraft necessarily had to deal with much more turbulence than now, when flights routinely achieve 35k-40k feet. The book was informative, but there are much better biographies of Amelia Earhart.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Quinn Lundquist

    Amelia: you were one of the most determined, inspiring, and courageous humans of the 20th century and while most people know your name and could at least probably say what you did to get famous (without going further than "she flew airplanes" I'm sure), more people should know your story and who you were as a person. Ok, with that out of the way. This book was well researched, well written, and a good starting point for someone interested in the life of this American hero. I'm using it as a Amelia: you were one of the most determined, inspiring, and courageous humans of the 20th century and while most people know your name and could at least probably say what you did to get famous (without going further than "she flew airplanes" I'm sure), more people should know your story and who you were as a person. Ok, with that out of the way. This book was well researched, well written, and a good starting point for someone interested in the life of this American hero. I'm using it as a jumping off point to learn more about the first few decades of aviation and about Amelia specifically.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Overall this book was enjoyable, well written, but in my estimation two major flaws. First, after being spoiled by Goodwin, Rich has a difficult time making important people matter. Some of the people in Amelia's life I had a hard time keeping track of. Who they were, what they did etc...They all seemed important, but she never explained why well enough. Second flaw is in the Epilogue. When someone dies in the prime of their life I would like to know what happened to the family after death. Overall this book was enjoyable, well written, but in my estimation two major flaws. First, after being spoiled by Goodwin, Rich has a difficult time making important people matter. Some of the people in Amelia's life I had a hard time keeping track of. Who they were, what they did etc...They all seemed important, but she never explained why well enough. Second flaw is in the Epilogue. When someone dies in the prime of their life I would like to know what happened to the family after death. Especially Amelia's husband who seemed to endlessly promote her for his own gain and celebrity. I'm not asking to double the size of the novel to explain, but would it hurt to write a couple of extra pages????

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jen Show

    Amelia Earhart was an incredibly charismatic and fascinating woman. Unfortunately, a great number of the Earhart biographies I have read neglect the more personal (and interesting) facets of the pilot's life in favor of dry recounts and rehashing technical details. This biography did a great job of weaving Earhart's personal and professional lives together in a way that create a better portrait of her humanity. Doris Rich makes use of (and annotates) numerous primary sources and brings in many Amelia Earhart was an incredibly charismatic and fascinating woman. Unfortunately, a great number of the Earhart biographies I have read neglect the more personal (and interesting) facets of the pilot's life in favor of dry recounts and rehashing technical details. This biography did a great job of weaving Earhart's personal and professional lives together in a way that create a better portrait of her humanity. Doris Rich makes use of (and annotates) numerous primary sources and brings in many character revealing anecdotes. She is fairly unbiased, and presents unpleasant truths alongside the glorious. The biography is focused on Earhart's life up to her disappearance, and (surprisingly) left me feeling uplifted and inspired.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sally Kilpatrick

    So maybe I had to give the last 100 pages the old English major skim because the book is due today, but I learned a lot. Rich's book can be a little dry at times, but it is quite thorough and gives you a full view of the life of Amelia Earhart. She quoted enough letters, that I'd like to check out a collection of those one day. One of the main things I learned about Earhart is that, in addition to her interest in flying, she also worked as a social worker and as a nurse. She also supported the So maybe I had to give the last 100 pages the old English major skim because the book is due today, but I learned a lot. Rich's book can be a little dry at times, but it is quite thorough and gives you a full view of the life of Amelia Earhart. She quoted enough letters, that I'd like to check out a collection of those one day. One of the main things I learned about Earhart is that, in addition to her interest in flying, she also worked as a social worker and as a nurse. She also supported the idea that women have to sign up for the draft also because, well, equality is equality. Good book if you want to know more about Earhart.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    Normally I really don't like biographies. Non-fiction just doesn't usually appeal to me, and even despite her many fantastic achievements, I don't think I'd have taken the time to read about Amelia Earhart if not for her mysterious disappearance. That said, I'm glad I did read about her. Her story was interesting, and quite inspirational. I couldn't help but envy her somewhat, but I would have that reaction to the story of most pilots as it was a career I wanted when I was young. Ms. Earhart is Normally I really don't like biographies. Non-fiction just doesn't usually appeal to me, and even despite her many fantastic achievements, I don't think I'd have taken the time to read about Amelia Earhart if not for her mysterious disappearance. That said, I'm glad I did read about her. Her story was interesting, and quite inspirational. I couldn't help but envy her somewhat, but I would have that reaction to the story of most pilots as it was a career I wanted when I was young. Ms. Earhart is a particularly shining example, though, for the inequalities and barriers she had to break down.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    I love biographies that provide a complete and relatively unbiased telling of a life. This one strips Amelia Earhart of her myths (spy, genius pilot) and presents her as she was: an ambitious pilot who always did her best but was ultimately overcome by obstacles she could not control. She was not the most talented of women pilots, her marriage was practical not romantic, and she had serious difficulties with her mother and sister. However, this book presents all that, while retaining respect for I love biographies that provide a complete and relatively unbiased telling of a life. This one strips Amelia Earhart of her myths (spy, genius pilot) and presents her as she was: an ambitious pilot who always did her best but was ultimately overcome by obstacles she could not control. She was not the most talented of women pilots, her marriage was practical not romantic, and she had serious difficulties with her mother and sister. However, this book presents all that, while retaining respect for her accomplishments and courage. A very good biography of a very interesting woman.

  10. 5 out of 5

    James

    A relatively detailed biography that follows sequentially the events in Amelia Earhart's life. Rich did cover well the early-twentieth century aviation scene in America, and Earhart's contribution to it; not only that, but Rich dealt with Earhart objectively and dispels much of the myths surrounding the ill-fated aviatrix. The only complaint would be that a more detailed epilogue and some critical evaluation could have been added.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heather Beauchemin

    Great factual biography Excellent story of Amelia Earhart's life. Seems well researched and grounded in fact. This book touches only briefly on theories about her disappearance, more focused on her life.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenni Smith

    The author had many details that were definitely thorough. The book was an easier read in the last few chapters. The author jumped back and forth at times but made sure the details about Amelia were there.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kizz Robinson

    The writing isn't especially inspired but it's a fascinating life. It was sad at times to learn the truth about this complicated, courageous woman. She defies expectations quite literally up until the very end.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy Madonna

    I love Amelia Earhart, she was a very brave and smart woman. I don't agree with everything she did in her life, but this book was very helpful and good.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Ive seen a few documentaries about AE and have always been intrigued by her exploits both as an aviator and as a pioneer for womens equality. Thanks to this biography, Ive realised she was a lot more and although very driven she was always helpful of others and a very determined woman. Although powered flight had been around for some time, it was still in its infancy and the risks that many took to fly faster, higher and longer made flight very dangerous. The book details much of her private and I’ve seen a few documentaries about AE and have always been intrigued by her exploits both as an aviator and as a pioneer for women’s equality. Thanks to this biography, I’ve realised she was a lot more and although very driven she was always helpful of others and a very determined woman. Although powered flight had been around for some time, it was still in its infancy and the risks that many took to fly faster, higher and longer made flight very dangerous. The book details much of her private and family life, including how she was manipulated, promoted and stage managed by her husband the very rich George Putnam. Without him, she may not have been so famous but it was at a huge cost to her private life. Excellent read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle Wallace

    She is not who I thought she was. All of my ideas about this woman were quickly replaced. Im not sure how to feel about her. She is not who I thought she was. All of my ideas about this woman were quickly replaced. I’m not sure how to feel about her.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Heywood

    interesting, but I got bored easily with all the technical mumbo jumbo. I bet some people liked it. it read more like an actual history book, with no feeling, no character development, just facts and quotes. I don't like biographies like that. I felt nothing for any of the people in it. but, just like in history books, some parts were really interesting and I enjoyed looking at the picture that went with a specific event.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    It was an interesting biography, a bit dry with some of the foot notes but overall a really good view of Amelia as a feminist. I wanted to read it before the Hillary Swank movie came out. My husband read another one and we compared notes, the source materials must be somewhat limited as the two were very similar.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Long. But I learned she was an ESL teacher!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    A thorough biography of Amelia Earhart, but not as engaging as others.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Madi

    So long and boring. As much as I love her, I believe it was lengthy in odd places.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marina

    I liked this book!! Considering I had to read it for school, it was a pretty good biography to read except in some places it droned on about aeronautical stuff that I had no clue about.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    Biography that includes her childhood and the man in her life.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniella

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Loe

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marlene Murdock

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mom

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bronwyn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.