Margot Mifflin
November 01, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

Rising Above It: An Autobiography

Current Status
In Season
Ann L. Cooper, Edna Gardner Whyte
Orion Books
Biography, Fiction

We gave it an B+

A pioneer aviatrix in the 1930s, Edna Gardner Whyte trained hundreds of pilots for commercial airlines and the military, neither of which would hire her to fly, because she was a woman. Undeterred, she got her kicks by racing, stunt flying, and selling planes. She built her own airport in Roanoke, Tex., when she was nearly 70 and is still racing airplanes at 89. Whyte’s story of the planes (and the men) she has loved is amusingly told in Rising Above It: An Autobiography. A fearless technophile, she cheerfully refutes the myth that women are naturally noncompetitive and mechanically incompetent. ”I liked to climb into a strange airplane…and find out what the sucker could do with a wide-open throttle!” says Whyte. ”I must have been competitive from the day I was born.” B+

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