Amelia Earhart's account of her ill-fated last flight around the world, begun in 1937, remains one of the most moving and absorbing adventure stories of all time. Last Flight compiles the letters, diary entries and charts that she sent to her husband, G.P. Putnam at each stage of her trip. In her own words, these dispatches offer a window into her experience on this ground-breaking journey and illustrate her cheerful, charming nature. Her story continues to intrigue and inspire people to this day.
This reprint of the chronicle of what turned out to be her last flying mission is sure to win new fans for the famed aviatrix. Earhart set out to circle the globe in 1937, with the aid of navigator Fred Noonan, and was lost after taking off from Lae, New Guinea, only 7000 miles short of the journey's completion. This narrative, assembled by Earhart's husband, the publisher G. P. Putnam, from her letters, diary and dispatches, reveals the pilot to be a cheerful, gallant soul, ever responsive to the earth's beauties. Entries in her log book are as likely to refer to rainbows and the fantastic shapes of clouds as to readings from her instrument panel. Her thoughts on equal opportunities for women are timely and inspiring 51 years later: "Women should do for themselves what men have already doneand occasionally what men have not donethereby establishing themselves as persons, and perhaps encouraging other women toward greater independence of thought and action.'' Unfortunately, the author is not so forward-thinking when it comes to race (black mechanics look ``considerably simian''), although she decries what Americans did to Africans, ``these proud people, so handsome and intelligent in the setting of their own country.'' Given the marvelous, stirring content of this book, a more detailed foreword, including a capsule biography, would be appreciated by a generation of readers unfamiliar with Earhart's accomplishments. Illustrations not seen by PW.