Eddie Rickenbacker epitomized the American spirit in the twentieth century. Daring, skilled, and rugged -- moving fast and defying death -- he drove race cars in the early days of the automobile, then flew canvas-over-wooden-frame aeroplanes in the Great War, downing twenty-six enemy flyers and emerging at war's end as the nation's ace of aces. Failing as an automobile maker after the war, Rickenbacker returned to aviation, joining Eastern Airlines in 1934, only to depart under pressure in 1963, despite building the company into a major carrier. "[Lewis] has compiled the definitive biography of Eddie Rickenbacker, an often forgotten American hero and entrepreneur. Exhaustively researched and well written, Lewis's study chronicles the life and achievements of Rickenbacker from his humble beginnings as the son of Swiss immigrants through his rise to heroic military veteran and founding father of American auto racing and airline travel." -- H-War, H-Net Reviews "Lewis has given us an unabashedly individual and heroic story from the heart of our era's passion for motorized speed." -- Technology and Culture "Mr. Lewis' research, 15 years of it, is meticulous, showing the beauty of how fact-based reality can top fiction for excitement, irony and tragedy. Mr. Lewis has painted a balanced, complete picture of an extremely complex man. It's obvious the author has a love for his subject, but this is not hagiography: All aspects of Rickenbacker's personality are laid on the table." -- Washington Times "This well-written and well-researched biography tells the life story of one of America's greatest, most widely-recognized, and controversial airmen." -- Skyways "A riveting read -- certainly the best telling of the Rickenbacker story we are ever likely to have." -- Airways "Lewis's intent is to replace Rickenbacker's self-promoting, ghost-written autobiographies with a reliable scholarly life." -- Journal of American History Until his death in September 2007, W. David Lewis was a Distinguished University Professor at Auburn University.Lewis, W. David is the author of 'Eddie Rickenbacker', published 2008 under ISBN 9780801889721 and ISBN 0801889723.