#FridayReads, May 18–Joe Jackson’s Atlantic Fever: Lindbergh, His Competitors, and the Race to Cross the Atlantic, with a cast of obsessed and scheming aviators who all wanted to make Paris first. Among the schemers is Admiral Richard E. Byrd, whose machinations and manipulations on the stage of world-class feat-making would make him almost as legendary as Lindbergh. In the 1990s and early 2000s I published Jackson’s first three books, including the co-authored Dead Run, with an Introduction by William Styron. Jackson’s a very gifted writer of narrative nonfiction. Kirkus Reviews says of his latest: “With stirring detail and perceptive insight about the pilots and the public, Jackson recaptures the tone and tenor of a frantic era’s national obsession.”
Also reading and finishing two powerful true-crime narratives: Anatomy of Injustice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong, Raymond Bonner’s masterful dissection of a flawed and corrupt prosecution of an innocent man; and Casey Sherman’s Bad Blood: Freedom and Death in the White Mountains, a compelling tick-tock of a deadly case I know too well, the violent 2007 episode in New Hampshire, near where I attended Franconia College, when a cop and and a young man he had stopped both ended up shot dead.