Lindbergh’s life teems with contrasts and contradictions. He was a public man who struggled all his life to protect his own identity from a hero-worshipping society. He hated the press, yet spent most of his life attracting publicity. He avoided power, yet used his fame to try and influence world events. He valued accuracy and a sense of perspective, yet his own perspective was often flawed and frightening. He was cold and self-righteous, with social and political views that were narrow and naive. He saw the strengths and weaknesses of individuals or nations in starkly scientific terms, espousing a faith in genetic determinism that hid a thinly veiled racism. He lived a life of absolutes, never doubting his own abilities or the altitude of his own moral high ground. His extraordinary character brought him unparalleled accomplishment but also public humiliation and lonely isolation.