Against Wind and Tide
Letters and Journals, 1947-1986
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Why, as an eager and talented writer, has Anne Morrow Lindbergh published so relatively little in forty years of marriage?” asked reviewer John Barkham in 1970. “After a promising start with those first books on flying, she tapered off into long silences broken by an infrequent volume of verse or prose.” Many years later, Lindbergh replied with a quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe, who claimed that writing, for a wife and mother, is “rowing against wind and tide.”
In this sixth and final collection of Lindbergh’s diaries and letters, taking us from 1947 to 1986, we mark her progress as she navigated a remarkable life and a remarkable century with enthusiasm and delight, humor and wit, sorrow and bewilderment, but above all devoted to finding the essential truth in life’s experiences through a hard-won spirituality and a passion for literature.
Between the inevitable squalls of life with her beloved but elusive husband, the aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, she shepherded their five children through whooping cough, horned toads, fiancés, the Vietnam War, and their own personal tragedies. She researched and wrote many books and articles on issues ranging from the condition of Europe after World War II to the meaning of marriage to the launch of Apollo 8. She published one of the most beloved books of inspiration of all time, Gift from the Sea. She left penetrating accounts of meetings with such luminaries as John and Jacqueline Kennedy, Thornton Wilder, Enrico Fermi, Leland and Slim Hayward, and the Frank Lloyd Wrights. And she found time to compose extraordinarily insightful and moving letters of consolation to friends and to others whose losses touched her deeply.
More than any previous books by or about Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Against Wind and Tide makes us privy to the demons that plagued this fairy-tale bride, and introduces us to some of the people—men as well as women—who provided solace as she braved the tides of time and aging, war and politics, birth and death. Here is an eloquent and often startling collection of writings from one of the most admired women of our time.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh was born in 1906. She married Charles Lindbergh in 1929 and became a noted aviator in her own right, eventually publishing several books on the subject and receiving several aviation awards. Gift from the Sea, published in 1955, earned her international acclaim. She was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey. War Within and Without, the penultimate installment of her published diaries, received the Christopher Award in 1980. Mrs. Lindbergh died in 2001 at the age of ninety-four.
“Ultimately, Lindbergh made art from her life; this posthumous collection joins five earlier volumes that explore her experiences with the subtlety and drama of a good novel. It brings to a poignant close a six-volume odyssey that sensitively traces the arc of one woman’s life, and with which Lindbergh did in fact create the great ‘body of work’ she feared she would never produce.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Those already familiar with Lindbergh will get to know her more deeply, and those who don’t will be introduced to an intelligent, sensitive woman trying to deal with enormous changes through four decades of a sometimes-ordinary and sometimes-extraordinary life.”
“A rich and inviting book . . . full of introspective, beautifully crafted accounts of joys and conflicts; a recurring theme is Lindbergh’s frustration at the confines of prescribed gender roles. An enticing publication.”
—Library Journal (starred)
“These letters, coupled with Lindbergh’s diaries, provide searing insight into the inner life of her brilliant and sensitive mind. Equally fascinating are the tidbits she drops about her unconventional, yet essentially interdependent, relationship with “Lucky Lindy.” A witness to and active participant in almost an entire century of progress, Lindbergh certainly had a lot to muse about.”
“A perceptive, intimate, and spirited journey of a woman as artist, wife, and mother.”