The Aviators - Winston Groom

The Aviators

By Winston Groom

  • Release Date: 2013-11-05
  • Genre: Military
Score: 4.5
From 138 Ratings


Written by gifted storyteller Winston Groom (author of Forrest Gump), The Aviators tells the saga of three extraordinary aviators--Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker, and Jimmy Doolittle--and how they redefine heroism through their genius, daring, and uncommon courage.
This is the fascinating story of three extraordinary heroes who defined aviation during the great age of flight. These cleverly interwoven tales of their heart-stopping adventures take us from the feats of World War I through the heroism of World War II and beyond, including daring military raids and survival-at-sea, and will appeal to fans of UnbrokenThe Greatest Generation, andFlyboys. With the world in peril in World War II, each man set aside great success and comfort to return to the skies for his most daring mission yet. Doolittle, a brilliant aviation innovator, would lead the daring Tokyo Raid to retaliate for Pearl Harbor; Lindbergh, hero of the first solo flight across the Atlantic, would fly combat missions in the South Pacific; and Rickenbacker, World War I flying ace, would bravely hold his crew together while facing near-starvation and circling sharks after his plane went down in a remote part of the Pacific. Groom's rich narrative tells their intertwined stories--from broken homes to Medals of Honor (all three would receive it); barnstorming to the greatest raid of World War II; front-page triumph to anguished tragedy; and near-death to ultimate survival--as all took to the sky, time and again, to become exemplars of the spirit of the "greatest generation."


  • The Aviators

    A really excellent book on three extraordinary and heroic men. It is hard to grasp how far aviation came from the early times these men flew and contributed so much. Not to mention the hardship and privations they endured, especially Rickenbacker. The world of air travel we all enjoy received immense contributions from all three. Men's/ men from an era of physical and personal courage. 5 Stars!
  • The Aviators

    By Tex Turkey
    Just a wonderful book an maybe the best I have read in some time . Mr Groom , what a job laying out history in a fashion for all to understand . A must read for all Americans .
  • The Aviators

    By Bulldog1842
    A terrific book that should be an inspiration to every American. Thank you Mr. Groom!
  • Incredible!

    By ElDiabloDeLosAves
    I thought I knew a lot about Doolittle and Lindbergh…and bought this mainly to learn more about Rickenbacker. Wow! A great read, and I learned things about Doolittle and Lindbergh that I didn’t know. I’d recommend this book to anyone…whether they are interested in aviation or not. These are great stories about men who shaped a century.
  • The Aviators

    By MIkeWhiskeyCharlie
    I read the sample and pre ordered the book right away. Winston Groom is an engrossing writer, does excellent research and never fails to provide the small human details that vividly illustrate the lives of his characters, be they fictional (Forrest Gump) or biographical. The tradition of service demonstrated by the fliers in the book may seem antiquated to some of the younger readers but it's what made America great. Groom does a good job of capturing the adventurous, almost buccaneering, spirit of these early fliers as they rise from humble their beginnings. Most importantly though, he does it without making them into Alger-esque caricatures of themselves. He shows their motivations, tribulations and how they coped (not always gracefully), while making the courage and humanity of each implicitly apparent. To say say that the greatness of these men is matched by Groom's skill as a writer would be a touch of hyperbole; however very few, if any could have done it better. As an aside, if you like the early aviation era aspect of the book check out "Flying Fury" by Major James McCudden. If it's the human aspect and lives of our combat flyers that intrigues you absolutely read "Bouncing Back" by Geoff Norman. In my opinion it's way better than "Unbroken" by Hillenbrand. It shows, without trite sentimental anecdotes, that heroism and resolve are not the exclusive province of the famous and that the Everyman in each each of us can be as good as the greatest, or as humble as the least. Plus, Al Stafford's story hasn't been watered by countless retellings and just feels more authentic, like a tale told reluctantly to a close friend after a couple of scotches. As you can probably see I find the lives and service of our fighting men and women fascinating, and read extensively on the subject. I'm happy to say that thanks to Winston Groom, I now have another to add to my own personal "Best Books" list.
  • The aviators

    By BillRsr
    Well, I bit on the sampler portion and then became too engrossed in this wonderful narrative of these fascinating aviation pioneers and heroes that I just couldn't let go. So, if you like true men of vision and true grit in aviation you will be deep into this book before you know it.