“Eddie Rickenbacker:

Chronicling an Action-Packed Life”

Two interactive video-conference presentations
by Andrew Speno, author of
The Many Lives of Eddie Rickenbacker
(Ohio University Press, 2020)


Option 1: The Mystery of Eddie Rickenbacker’s Umbrella-Bike

Essential Question: What does a biographer do when the primary and secondary sources don’t agree?

  1. Introduction of the author and how he came to write about Eddie Rickenbacker
    (C) pamimages, 2020
  2. Warm-up: Students sequence events in early aviation history in Ohio based on prior knowledge.
  3. Activity: Students examine different document excerpts
    • Is it a primary or secondary source?
    • What does it tell us about the order of events?
  4. Discussion: The actual sequence is revealed.
      • How did our prediction hold up?
      • Why did the sources disagree? How could information in a book be wrong?
  5. Reading: Author reads first paragraphs of the book that pertain to the events students just learned about.
      • Does the lead hook your interest?
      • Does it tell you what to expect from the book?
  6. Question-and-answer session


Option 2: So Many Lives, So Few Pages

Essential Question: Deciding what to include and what to leave out when telling a life story

  1. Courtesy Auburn University Libraries

    Introduction of the author and how he came to write about Eddie Rickenbacker

  2. Discussion: What is biography?
    • Tells the story of a life
    • Does an author tell everything about the life?
    • How does an author decide what to include and what to leave out?
  3. Activity: Two included, one left out game
    • Guess which was left out.
    • Why was it left out?
  4. Reading: Author reads a favorite scene from one mentioned in the game.
    • A biography, just like a novel or a movie, depends on scenes
    • Did the author create a scene you could imagine?
  5. Question-and-answer session


To schedule a program:

  • Courtesy NMUSAF

    Review two programs described above; select one or both

  • Review specifications for both presentations:
    • Length: 45 minutes
    • Price: $60 per presentation, up to 30 students
      • $100 for for two presentations
      • $125 for three presentations
      • $150 for four presentations
    • Accommodations can be made to suit your needs.

To order copies of the book:

  • Contact Jeff Kallet, sales Manager, Ohio University Press