Last Flight by Amelia Earhart (Throwback Book Review)

This month for our Throwback book we’re diving into Last Flight by Amelia Earhart. A tribute to this amazing women on the anniversary of her disappearance.

Last Flight by Amelia Earhart

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Last Flight

By Amelia Earhart
Genre: non-fiction, memoir

Earhart’s account of her ill-fated last flight around the world, begun in 1937, remains one of the most moving and absorbing adventure stories of all time. Compiled here are dispatches, letters, diary entries and charts she sent to her husband at each stage of her trip.

Fifty years after its first publication, Amelia Earhart’s account of her ill-fated last flight remains one of the most moving and absorbing adventure stories of all time. Told with engaging humor, modesty, and charm, this long-out-print classic is an exhilarating tale of a true American pioneer’s triumph in conquering new horizons both in aviation and in women’s rights. She believed there was no reason women could not participate as equals in aviation, and since she alone did the flying, using the same planes as the men, there could be no belittling her achievements.

At each stop during her last voyage, Earhart, as if in anticipation of her ultimate fate, sent back to her husband George Palmer Putnam, letters, diary entries, charts, and even her flight bag. From these papers, as well as cables and telephone conversations, Putnam put together Earhart’s last book, an account not only of her daring flight, but also of her whole career in aviation. 

Since her disappearance over the Pacific made front-page headlines across the nation in 1937, Earhart’s legend has never faded. Now a whole new generation of readers will have the chance to meet the woman herself, through her own words. What emerges is a portrait of an intelligent, confident, capable, and compassionate woman who brings a fresh, human perspective to her observations of aviation and remote, exotic locations, along with clear-eyed descriptions of the meticulous hard work needed to keep an airplane in shape, and the sweat, exhaustion, and tedium inherent in long flights in a small cockpit. 

In Putnam’s words, Last Flight “is not a chronicle of regret, but of high and happy adventure,” by a woman “whose explorings were as much of the mind and spirit as of the air.”

Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, and Bookbub.

Review of Last Flight

Posthumously published in 1937, Last Flight is a compilation of Amelia Earhart’s letters and flight documents she sent home during her record-setting attempt to fly around the world at the equator. A journal that was never finished. The book was an invaluable resource during my research, which encompassed many hours of reading a multitude of articles and watching videos for my two-part series for Mystery Review Crew. Amelia’s words provided an insight into the difficulties she and her plane encountered and her decisions. She kept a “loose leaf stenographer’s notebook” in the cockpit. Many entries were written while seated in her beloved “chariot.” 

After acquiring a copy, I avidly scanned pages, looking for clues about the technicalities of the flight. What I discovered was far more. My article was forgotten. I simply read, captivated by her eloquent descriptions of the people and places she visited. I became absorbed by her journey. What shined through her writing was the love of flying and her airplane. 

Having finished, I went back and read it a second time. It wasn’t until the third reading that I began jotting down details for my article. This is a book that I will keep on my bookshelf. One that I know I will enjoy reading again and again. 

On July 2, 1937, the world lost a truly remarkable woman. An advocate for women’s rights, she led by example. Among her many accomplishments, Amelia Earhart founded the Ninety-Nines, an organization for the advancement of women in aviation. What might have been if Amelia Earhart hadn’t so tragically lost her life?

Check out The Unsolved Mystery of Amelia Earhart coming later this month!

About the Author

American aviator Amelia Earhart, the first such woman, flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932 and from Hawaii to California in 1935. While attempting to fly around the world, she crashed in the Pacific Ocean in 1937.

Amelia Mary Earhart was an aviation pioneer and author. Earhart received the Distinguished Flying Cross award. She set many other records and wrote best-selling books about her experiences. As an advocate for women’s rights, she formed The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots.

During her circumnavigation of the globe, Earhart disappeared near Howland Island, a tiny speck of land in the Pacific Ocean. Fascination with her life, career, and disappearance continues to this day. She went missing July 2, 1937, and was legally declared dead on January 5, 1939.

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  1. AE did not go down in the Pacific Ocean. The most important overlooked fact is the 10 am takeoff time from Lae. Think about it.

  2. Thank you for your response. While researching her flight, I was amazed by the number of theories and opinions about the outcome. This was a pattern very similar to the controversy that has surrounded the Kennedy assassination for years. I am a retired Dallas police officer, so one cannot help but become immersed in the details about Lee Harvey Oswald and President Kennedy. In fact, I wrote a book about the death of a key witness to the assassination that occurred in 1966.

    The mystery surrounding the Earhart tragedy was no less intriguing. What might be of interest is the two-part series I wrote for the Mystery Review Crew’s Unsolved Mysteries titled Last Flight: Final Chapter? Part One will be published on July 12, and Part Two on July 19.

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