Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead: Diaries and Letters 1929 – 1932



Book: Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead: Diaries and Letters 1929 – 1932

Author: Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Publisher: Mariner Books, reissued in 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0151421763 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0151421765 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0156421836 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0156421836 Paperback

Language level: 3

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Teens and adults

Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

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Lindbergh, Anne Morrow.   Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead: Diaries and Letters 1929 – 1932 (published in 1973 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York City, NY).  Anne Morrow Lindbergh was born Anne Spencer Morrow on June 22, 1906, at Englewood, NJ, the daughter of Dwight Whitney Morrow, a United States ambassador and Republican Senator from New Jersey, and his wife, Elizabeth Reeve Cutter Morrow, an author and teacher.  She married famed aviator Charles A. Lindbergh in a private ceremony on May 27, 1929, at the home of her parents.  Their first child, Charles Jr, was born on Anne’s 24th birthday, June 22, 1930.  These things constituted her “hour of gold.”  However, the child was kidnapped at twenty months of age from their home in East Amwell, NJ, outside of Hopewell, on March 1, 1932, and the baby’s body was discovered the following May 12.  This, of course, was her “hour of lead.”  It was somewhat softened by the birth of their second child later that year and her sister Elizabeth’s wedding..

Mrs. Lindbergh put together some six books containing her letters and private diary entries.  Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead is the second.  There are a few references to drinking wine and beer, and the “d” and “h” words appear once each.  It is a fascinating account of historically important events and is filled with photographs of the Lindbergh and Morrow families.  Reading about a person’s life solely through letters and diary entries has its drawbacks, but one also gains insights that are simply not available from the standard third-person biography.  The first of the series was Bring Me a Unicorn (1922-1928).   The subsequent volumes are Locked Rooms and Open Doors (1933-1935); The Flower and the Nettle (1936-1939); War Within and Without (1939-1944); and Against Wind and Tide (1947-1986).  Anne Morrow Lindbergh died at the age of 94 at the Vermont farm of her daughter Reeve from a stroke on February 7, 2001.

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