John F. Ross
Reaching for the Sky
Eddie Rickenbacker, America's Greatest Flying Ace
St. Martin's Press, Summer 2014
It was a unique moment in American history. What so captivated Rickenbacker, and the nation, was speed. New technologies were making it possible to travel faster than ever imagined, and putting speed in the hands of the masses. The auto, the race car, the airplane, aerial combat and dogfighting: all were in their infancy as Eddie Rickenbacker came of age, and here was a young man ready to jump right in, with a fiercely competitive spirit, a mastery of mechanics and with real leadership skills. Rickenbacker was there to invent these worlds, often literally on the fly, able to write the rules and then break them.
Rickenbacker was fearless, determined and saw obstacles as opportunity, and once given command of the 94th Squadron, he brought all he had to bear, leading the fledging unit to victory against the legendary German air corps and breaking the back of the German army. For the first time in history, aerial warfare had been decisive in battle, and it was Eddie Rickenbacker who led the way.