My Review (5 stars out of 5)
On March 1st, 1932, the 20-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was taken from his bedroom in Hopewell, New Jersey. Given Lindbergh’s reputation as an aviator – having been the first person to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic – the American public were appalled that such an audacious crime could have been committed against a true American hero.
Author Thomas Doherty gives us not the usual true-crime scenario, but a version of events that traces how the media reported and recorded the kidnapping, trial and aftermath of the crime. Using newspaper, radio, and newsreel reports, he explores how the media took the story and blasted it into every realm of American life.
Though the author’s take on the kidnapping brings to light the depths to which the newsmen and reporting media world stoop (such as sneakily filming scenes in the courtroom), it shows how commentary on stories like this changed forever. It’s also interesting to hear how Lindbergh’s status as the American hero took a dive in later years, due to his support of Hitler, and his views on American participation in World War Two.
A fascinating and thought-provoking book.