• East to the Dawn

  • The Life of Amelia Earhart
  • By: Susan Butler
  • Narrated by: Anna Fields
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (289 ratings)

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East to the Dawn  By  cover art

East to the Dawn

By: Susan Butler
Narrated by: Anna Fields
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Publisher's Summary

The image we have of Amelia Earhart today - a tousle-haired, androgynous flier clad in shirt, silk scarf, leather jacket, and goggles - is only one of her many personas, most of which have been lost to us through the years. Through years of research and interviews with many of the surviving people who knew Amelia, Susan Butler has recreated a remarkably vivid and multifaceted portrait of this enigmatic figure. Listeners will experience Amelia in all her permutations: not just as a pilot, but also as an educator, a social worker, a lecturer, a businesswoman, and a tireless promoter of women's rights. We experience a remarkably energetic and enterprising woman who battled incredible odds to achieve her fame, succeeded beyond her wildest dreams, and yet never lost sight of her beginnings, ensuring that her success would secure a path for women after her.
©1997 Susan Butler (P)1998 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Certainly the single best book that we now have on Earhart's life....Earhart comes into sharper, more realistic focus through Butler's lens." (Washington Post)
"Filled with wonderful details about Earhart's glamorous lifestyle and the wild, dangerous world of early aviators....the still enthralling figure of the aviator...powerfully come[s] through." (Kirkus Reviews)
"The reader closes East to the Dawn with the lingering realization of how truly contemporary Amelia Earhart remains and with a new understanding of the love and admiration she earned from colleagues and the public at large....her insistence on being her own person while fighting for causes larger than herself continue to command our respect and fuel our dreams." (Los Angeles Times)

What listeners say about East to the Dawn

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Definitive Biography

Much like "Hughes" was the definitive biography of Howard Hughes, "East to the Dawn" is for Amelia Earhart. Both books show all facets of these aviation pioneers. And both dive into the little details of not only the subjects but also of the environment in which they lived.

The narration is lovely, and easy to follow. The only negative is that the genealogy of Ms. Earhart at the beginning is a little dry (though important for a definitive biography). It picks up tremendously once the book focuses on Amelia.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Searching for the "who" of Amelia Earhart

In many fictional or biographical accounts of this interesting and forward thinking woman the emphasis is usually placed on her last flight, where she went down and what happened to her.
In this book by Susan Butler we get to see and understand the person behind the public persona: from her scandalous affairs to her Clothing line for Women and from her fierce loyalty to her casual betrayals of those close to her. What Ms. Butler portrays is a complex and even conflicted figure.
The narrator does a substantial job of taking this book from text to audio.
Even if you are not an Ameliaphile, this book is well worth the price.


5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Excessive Glorification Not Deserved

An interesting read but the author spends the first half describing how our heroine lies, cheats, misrepresents herself to get jobs, positions that she does not deserve, e.g., three months at a university that offers an engineering degree justifies putting engineer BSEE on her resume.

Lying to get a position she did not deserve, parlays that into meeting influential and wealthy people just so she can claim to be the first woman across the Atlantic while she sat on a pile of gas cans behind the pilot and co-pilot to get a female version of Charles Lindberghs;s recognition is ludicrous.

The author finishes up with an unabashed glorification of how streets, towns and even airports were named after her. I guess the message is marry money; throw in a big dash of deception to get what you want is OK.

Other than that it is an easy read.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

a timeless life

Amelia made some very surprising twists and turns in life to find herself a competitive flyer. This biography pays homage to her selflessness, zest for life, and adaptability to good times and bad. You will see yourself in her conflict between her desire for independence, and the struggle with rootlessness. A complete picture of Amelia as a full person, and a must read.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I have fallen in love with Amelia

Anna Fields does a very good job narrarating this book. I decided to read/listen to this because I myself am a pilot and had always admired AE. After seeing the recent movie starring Hillary Swank, I wanted to know more about this amazing woman. East to the Dawn is another classic example of "the book is much better than the movie." The big screen could never provide the detail that Susan Butler provides. From flying to helping her gender live up to their potential, she was passionate, smart, and effective in her pursuits. One of AE's famous quotes was "The most effective way to do it, is to do it." To me, this simply summarizes her way of life and what made her so special.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting!

Would you listen to East to the Dawn again? Why?

No. Too much family history and lots of repetition. If I was actually reading the book I would have skipped through a bunch of pages

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Even though I knew how the story ends, I was still sad. By listening to the book I became attached to Amelia

Have you listened to any of Anna Fields’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not but I would

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Several but the one that comes to mind first is when Amelia agrees to marry George. It seemed to be against her better judgment and I'm not sure why she did it.

Any additional comments?

The book doesn't seem well edited but I learned a lot and, for the most part, really enjoyed it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

I now know Amelia

It's an interesting book in that I now know, presumably, Amelia as a person. Her entire life including every family member, friends and foes (actually, I do not think she had any enemies). It is rich with history regarding the beginnings of air flight when it was truly a daring feat. Anyone who is a fan of aeronautics will definitely enjoy this book. For me, it was a little more difficult to get through -- although it was worth the read to learn so much about that time and the types of people who became interested in flying virtual death traps. Even if you have seen the PBS special programs, regarding Amelia, this with take you to much greater heights! However, I have not finished the book yet -- I have a about 4 hours left out of a 19 hour book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love the book hate the audible download

Which malfunctioned in the middle and would not let me finish blah blah blah can't even submit a realistic review

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Do we need to hear every detail?

Any additional comments?

Clearly the author did her research but instead of choosing what to put into the story to make it interesting she put in what seems like every detail anyone ever shared with her about Amelia and her family. And she says over and over 'and even 70 - or 60 or whatever - years later' this person 'still remembers" what ever tiny detail "about Amelia." Often she sites a detail I can remember about people I knew as a child that were NOT famous 15 years after we played together. The narrator seems bored, poor inflection and poor flow in reading the story. Tired to get through more than a few hours, then had to ask myself, why? And stopped it right there.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Spoiler-proof History

We all know what happened. So, no biography of Amelia Earhart can give us a surprise or a happy ending.

That said, this was a most interesting listen. I'm not a history-of-flight addict and mostly wanted to hear an outstanding woman's story of life in a man's industry. I learned a lot about her and, incidentally, about flying. Earhart is presented here as a fully-dimensional person, with great strengths and pretty great faults too, at times.

Perhaps because of my lack of fascination with flying itself, the book was somewhat too long for my taste. I stayed with it and, as I have said, learned a lot. Anyone who has a particular interest in the history of aviation may well treasure every word of this long biography. For the rest of us, it's a good look at an intriguing woman and at an exciting era in American history, but it's a bit too long.

1 person found this helpful