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Extended Audio Sample Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed, by John F. Ross, Martha Woodroof Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John F. Ross, Martha Woodroof Narrator: Lorelei King, Edward Herrmann Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged edition Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Enduring Courage is the sensational true story of Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s greatest flying ace.

At the turn of the twentieth century, two new technologies—the car and airplane—took the nation’s imagination by storm as they burst, like comets, into American life. The brave souls that leaped into these dangerous contraptions and pushed them to unexplored extremes became new American heroes: the race-car driver and the flying ace.

No individual did more to create and intensify these raw new roles than the tall, gangly Eddie Rickenbacker, who defied death over and over with such courage and pluck that a generation of Americans came to know his face better than the president’s. The son of poor, German-speaking Swiss immigrants in Columbus, Ohio, Rickenbacker overcame the specter of his father’s violent death, a debilitating handicap, and, later, accusations of being a German spy, to become the American military ace of aces in World War I and a Medal of Honor recipient. He and his high-spirited pilot comrades created a new kind of aviation warfare, as they pushed their machines to the edge of destruction—and often over it—without parachutes, radios, or radar.

Enduring Courage is the electrifying story of the beginning of America’s love affair with speed—and how one man above all the rest showed a nation the way forward. No simple daredevil, he was an innovator on the racetrack, a skilled aerial dualist and squadron commander, and founder of Eastern Air Lines. Decades after his heroics against the Red Baron’s Flying Circus, he again showed a war-weary nation what it took to survive against nearly insurmountable odds when he and seven others endured a harrowing three-week ordeal adrift in the Pacific without food or water during World War II.

For the first time, Enduring Courage peels back the layers of hero to reveal the man himself. With impeccable research and a gripping narrative, John F. Ross tells the unforgettable story of a man who pushed the limits of speed, endurance, and courage and emerged as an American legend.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “To say Enduring Courage is inspiring is totally inadequate praise. It is also gripping, electrifying, insightful—and full of new information about a legendary American hero. I have seldom been so glad to read a book.”

    Thomas Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of Conquerors of the Sky

  • “John Ross is that rare soul who writes narrative history with the verve and timing of an accomplished novelist. Enduring Courage—a heroic portrait of the aviator ace Eddie Rickenbacker of Ohio—is a bona fide page turner. The Indianapolis race car scenes and World War I dogfights ripple with excitement. I couldn’t put it down.”

    Douglas Brinkley, New York Times bestselling author of the Wilderness Warrior

  • “Daring, beautiful, and masterfully told, Enduring Courage puts you shoulder-to-shoulder with one of the great American spirits of all time, Eddie Rickenbacker, who does in each chapter what the rest of us dream to do with our lives.”

    Robert Kurson, New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers

  • “Fast paced…With just the right amount of technical detail, Mr. Ross evocatively captures the excitement of the racetrack, where the driver had to contend with ‘gumbo,’ thick clouds of dust and gravel thrown up by the wheels… Mr. Ross’s book does an excellent job portraying how the reality of air combat differed from the romantic notions, advanced at the time, of a noble contest between modern knights in the sky.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Ross is at his best when he writes about Rickenbacker grappling with risk and adversity…the book is a riveting account of the dawn of the age of speed.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “A brisk and informing read…[Ross’] engaging new book, surveying the risky realms of racing and air wars, reminds the reader how fast the world changes—and how much remains the same…Rickenbacker’s life provides ample grist for thrilling narrative (and gruesome detail). Yet serving the good purposes of history, Mr. Ross artfully strikes resonances between eras…Portraying the ultimate daredevil in an age of daredevilry, Mr. Ross wrings out as much excitement as the material holds in describing Rickenbacker’s violent worlds.”

    Washington Times

  • “Entertaining…Ross peppers the text with quotes that place readers right alongside the ace through nearly every moment of his life. Obviously this is exciting material to work with—after all, Rickenbacker was a man who drove in the first Indy 500 and dueled with the Red Baron’s flying circus—but Ross is never fawning in this thoroughly enjoyable and downright rollicking read.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Ross has a knack for exciting, visual narrative, and the life-defining moments of race and dogfight are made particularly visceral through inclusion of technical details that enrich the drama…Highly entertaining.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Energetic look at the World War I ace’s early exploits through the prism of exciting modern changes in America. In his passionately sympathetic biography, Ross finds in Eddie Rickenbacker a subject as brash, unassuming, and heroic as the young American nation at the turn of the twentieth century. The author admires the fact that the son of poor, German-speaking Swiss immigrants had so much going against him in the early years and overcame the obstacles through sheer hard work and determination. Luck, another quintessential American ingredient, favored him, as well as the ability to fudge the record when necessary…With the United States propelled into the European war in 1917, Rickenbacker talked his way past bigotry against German-Americans, his lack of a gentlemanly education, and an eye injury and began flying lessons…In a few short months, Rickenbacker, with twenty-six kills, was a national hero. Ross sweeps readers along in Rickenbacker’s thrilling tale.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “An outstanding audio production enhances an outstanding text. Early race-car driver and WWI flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker was a genuine American hero, a rough, uneducated youth whose legendary grit, mechanical ingenuity, and fighting spirit exemplified ‘the right stuff’ before it had its name. His is an action story, one of history’s best, and biographer Ross delivers it with all its thrills and danger and no glorification. As narrator, Edward Herrmann is, as always, matchless. His sustaining voice maintains the tension of the action, while giving weight and purpose to the rich technical and historical background Ross fills in along the way. This is a biography many people will enjoy, sure to be one of the most popular and honored titles of the year. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • One of Barnes & Noble's Biggest Books, May 2014
  • Nominated for the 2015 Audie Award for History/Biography
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