Margot Mifflin
February 18, 1994 AT 05:00 AM EST

Lost Star: The Search for Amelia Earhart

Current Status
In Season
Randall Brink
W.W. Norton
History, Nonfiction

We gave it an A

A proto-feminist and aviation daredevil, Amelia Earhart stands out in the American imagination as a trailblazer in a field where few women ever made a name for themselves. Her myth was fueled by her disappearance in 1937 during a round- the-world flight and has since been rekindled in various biographies and documentaries. Nothing, however, will put a spin on the Earhart legend like Randall Brink’s Lost Star, which unpacks convincing new evidence that Earhart took her last flight not as a civilian adventurer, but as a spy for the U.S. military, sent under orders from FDR to investigate Japanese military outposts in the Pacific. Though Brink can’t prove Earhart’s final destiny (he speculates that she was shot down, captured, and possibly executed by the Japanese), he has added a riveting, penultimate chapter to the Earhart annals.

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