THE WRIGHT BROTHERS BOOK
The Wright Brothers book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells. The Wright Brothers is a non-fiction book written by the popular historian David McCullough and published by Simon & Schuster. It is a history of the. The Wright Brothers [David McCullough] on myavr.info Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the month in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's.
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Editorial Reviews. myavr.info Review. An Amazon Best Book of May Most people The Wright Brothers - Kindle edition by David McCullough. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough - The #1 New York Times bestseller from David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize—the dramatic. A lot of books about the Wright Brothers are written for children. Maybe that's because these two aviation pioneers are better known for their.
The brothers continued their experiments at Dayton and built several biplanes. Record-breaking flights in by Orville in the United States and by Wilbur in France brought them worldwide fame. In the U. The house where Orville was born and the bicycle-shop laboratory have been restored and were moved to Greenfield Village, Mich. See their papers, ed. McFarland 2 vol. Graves, The Wright Brothers ; P. Degan and L.
Wescott, Wind and Sand ; F. Howard, Wilbur and Orville ; L. Tise, Conquering the Sky ; D. There isn't a whole lot about the Wright Brothers' childhood, neither the patent lawsuits that arose after their accomplishment was a fact.
The central focus is the years between and , and how they came to be the first to ever fly. The book briefly skims major life events of all family members through to their respective deaths. Orville died in The wide scope of advancements in aeronautics is scarcely even mentioned.
The focus is Orville and Wilbur's flying achievement. Wilbur spent almost an entire year in France. In the brothers had flown and by the sale of the airplane had begun. What the book well draws is the excitement and incredulity of man being able to fly, and it looks at how these two brothers did this. The two brothers are, in my view exceptional people, not really for what they achieved but for their steadfastness, their determination and hard work.
Both had only a high school education and they financed their work on the sales from their bicycle company!
They were not backed by big money! Others were, and they failed. For me the book imparted a clear picture of the personality of the two brothers, their father and their younger sister Katherine. She too was part of their team. I appreciated that McCullough took the time to elucidate her role. I loved the small details describing people; sometimes it is the unbuttoned button of a jacket or a shamrock in a buttonhole.
I close the book with some questions. I want to know more about Wilbur's, Orville's and Katherine's childhood years, and more about their older siblings.
I want to know more about the split between Orville and Katherine after her marriage in with Henry Joseph Haskell. I want to know how it came to be that the children were not religious; their father, Milton, was a Bishop of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. What the book gave me was very good, but I would have been pleased with more, more biographical details.
I wonder if some of the less complimentary personal characteristics are not here?! The emphasis is on their flying achievement.
I do though have a mania for biographical details. You might be satisfied with a little bit less rather than more! The author narrates his own book. I liked the narration, because it is very slow. That may not please others. Sometimes he mumbles a bit, but heck I understood. I could feel when he wanted to emphasize the importance of an event.
Wright Brothers, Wrong Story
You could almost hear the thought, "Hey, pay attention! So, I personally liked the narration very much. View all 13 comments.
Nov 18, David rated it really liked it Shelves: This is an excellent book about the inventors of the airplane. David McCullough is a great admirer of the Wright Brothers.
He mentions, over and over again, how passionate and single-minded they were. They focused on their purpose; to develop the science of aeronautics to the point where flight would become possible. They worked very very hard, all day long, under less-than-optimal conditions.
I did not realize that for a few years they flew only gliders at Kitty Hawk, before attempting to use a This is an excellent book about the inventors of the airplane.
I did not realize that for a few years they flew only gliders at Kitty Hawk, before attempting to use an engine for powered flight. Both of the Wright Brothers were detail-oriented.
They had to be, because the alternative would have been failure or worse; fatal. When they gave demonstrations of their inventions, they did not give any thought about the celebrities or leaders in the spectator stands; if conditions were unfavorable, they would just pack the airplane back into the hangar, and wait for more favorable winds.
Wilbur was a true Renaissance genius. He had a broad range of knowledge about virtually every subject. And Orville was mechanically brilliant. Over the course of several years, the two of them developed the science and their inventions; living for months at a time under primitive conditions at Kitty Hawk, their activities and materials cost them a total of about one thousand dollars. They did not really care about fame or fortune. They did, however, care that they receive proper credit as the inventors of the airplane, and protected their interests through patent lawsuits.
The book also discusses their sister Katherine, who was indispensable to their journey.
Their flights were risky; any number of components could malfunction, leading to a crash. They were reluctant to take passengers who were national leaders. In fact, they were reluctant to fly together, lest a crash would kill them both without someone to carry on their work.
After reading this book, it is hard not to be extremely respectful of the amazing dedication of the Wright Brothers. David McCullough has done an excellent job of helping us understand the brothers and their family.
I listened to this book as an audiobook; the author is the narrator, which is a bit unfortunate. He is not a bad narrator, but he does not bring a polish to the reading, either. View all 6 comments. Dec 01, Karen rated it it was amazing. I loved this book. I was completely oblivious about the amazing lives of Wilbur and Orville Wright.
This book should be required reading for every high school student in the US. Their story is already well known if you studied them at all in school, but McCullough was able to add some dimension to the brothers and to their family mem "On July 20, , when Neil Armstrong, another American born and raised in Southwestern Ohio, stepped onto the moon, he carried with him, in tribute to the Wright Brothers, a small swatch of the muslin from a wing of their Flyer.
Their story is already well known if you studied them at all in school, but McCullough was able to add some dimension to the brothers and to their family members and those who had any effect on them in their years in business. I'm not a big fan of bios or non-fiction, so this was a bit dry in parts; but it made me realize what great, honest men they were, how hard they worked for all they achieved, and how well-deserved that tribute to them on the moon was.
View all 5 comments. Apr 23, Jimmy Reagan rated it it was amazing. David McCullough, a favorite for many of us, weaves another powerful tale. I wanted another John Adams or In the hands of this master writer, we learn both how important and interesting were Wilbur and Orville and how revolutionary flying was when they brought it about. Wilbur and Orville were unique. Never showing any interest in getting married, never afraid to go their own way no matter what anyone else thought, and never deviating from the raising of their preacher father, they do not fit the common mold.
Dismiss out of hand any comments that the characterizations here are one-dimensional. The Wright brothers simply do not fit the modern mold especially. McCullough obviously felt no need to manufacture some speculations that tantalize our generation. He just gave us the Wright brothers as they were. I enjoyed getting to know them and have nothing but respect for them. The saw the prize out ahead of them and never rested till they had it.
The setbacks, the hardships Kitty Hawk was not pleasant then , the secrecy when fame was dangling in front of them, the danger, the crashes, the occasional family drama but unwavering devotion—the story never sags. The competition with others trying to get the title of first to truly fly was always part or the story.
The initial reluctance of the U. You admired the brilliance of these amateur mechanics as you read and are amazed at the mathematical and scientific ground they covered in their relentless research. This volume can proudly take its place on the hollowed bookshelf of Mr. Another piece of our history is now preserved with distinction. I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Sep 30, happy rated it really liked it Shelves: In my opinion Mr. McCullough has once again delivered a solidly researched and very readable look at an important figure, or in this case figures, in US history. In his look at the Wright Brothers, the author basically focuses on the 15 years between and These are the years of the brothers developed an interest in flight, proved their concepts, and then concluded a very successful tour of Europe, demonstrating their mastery of the air. In telling their story, Mr.
McCullough also looks In my opinion Mr. McCullough also looks at their close family ties, especially with their sister Katherine. As lifelong bachelors, she basically ran their home life and lived with them until her marriage quite late in life.
After the marriage Orville refused to have anything more to do with her and even refused to attend the ceremony. Their relationship with their father is also explored, although not to the same extent as with their sister. However personal stories are a very minor portion of the book. The main focus is their invention of powered flight and its aftermath in their lives. Their selection of Kitty Hawk for their experiments is explained and the fact that at the time of the first flight was the brothers 4th annual trip to the site.
Each year they brought an improved glider to test the control system among other things. It was a 2 day trip by a broken down sailing ship and he was seasick most of the way. Another example of their resourcefulness is the story of the development of the engine for their first airplane.
So with the help of one of their employees at their bicycle factory, they designed and built their own.
In telling the story of the invention of powered flight, Mr. McCullough illustrates the methodical way the Wrights worked. While both were high school drop outs, they were mechanically gifted and have a good grasp of mechanical principles. Their study of birds and how they controlled their flight led to their development if wing warping. He also mentions their development of a homemade wind tunnel to test the wing designs. In additions to the Wrights, the author also looks at who was doing what in the race for powered flight.
According to the author he was the Wrights main completion for the title of the first man to make a powered flight. The reaction to the news of the first flight was enlightening — almost none. Prove it. The author does a good job of telling the enthusiastic reception they received, both in England and in France. As Mr. McCullough says, they were well-to-do, but not really wealthy. All in all a very solid read, but not extensive.
May 08, Ware rated it it was amazing. Wilbur and Orville Wright are often characterized as bicycle mechanics who managed to launch the first piloted aircraft and fly it for a few hundred feet at Kitty Hawk. As McCullough documents, the Wright brothers were first class scientists and engineers who accomplished a feat which was believed to be impossible. David McCullough, who authored on of the great engineering works of all time The Brooklyn Bridge, carefully documents the life and works of the two brothers from Dayton.
He credits tho Wilbur and Orville Wright are often characterized as bicycle mechanics who managed to launch the first piloted aircraft and fly it for a few hundred feet at Kitty Hawk. He credits those whose work inspired them and details how the brothers studied those materials, the flight of birds, and ended up inventing the wind tunnel to get accurate data. He explains the reluctance of the press and governments around the world to believe that manned flight had been achieved by these men.
And then he shows how that all changed with the world becoming aware of these accomplishments. The Wrights financed their own endeavors without governmental or corporate support.
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When you consider that the Army had invested huge sums, greatly in excess of the Wright's total investment, this thriftiness is all the more remarkable. No matter what you will come away with a deep appreciation of the first men to fly. View 2 comments. Apr 02, Joel rated it it was amazing Shelves: His writing is clear and direct, yet he respects his readers by not talking down or attempting to be amusing.
He gives sufficient detail without getting boring. I would have likes slightly more background information about the cultural context of the age and other characters, such as Lilienthal, Chanute, Flint, Curtiss, and a few others, but I appreciated that the book was not too lengthy. Richard Rhodes does this effectively in The Making of the Atomic Bomb, but that is a hard act to follow, and honestly, that book was too long.
The pictures were also nicely chosen. Overall, this is historical non-fiction as it should be done, and I will definitely be reading his other books.
View 1 comment. Sep 01, Petra rated it it was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I don't have a particular interest in aeronautics so am hazy on any details of the subject. I found the Wright brothers to be a delightful duo and their family to be solid and interesting. The brothers had an unconventional upbringing in that they were allowed to follow their interests and encouraged in their endeavours.
They were such a solid, down-to-earth family as well. It was really nice to read about a family that supported each other.
The brothers were genius I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The brothers were genius. They must have been. Without specialized education or funding, they made the most marvelous invention.
Everything about aeronautics was unknown. What they discovered over the course of about 10 years was amazing. This book covers the years of about McCullough tells a story with detail and interest. This story reads easily, like a novel. I started by listening to the book on audio, which is narrated by the author. I really enjoyed his rendition and tone. This story lends itself really well for the audio format. However, I only listen during my commutes and went on vacation.
I wanted to continue so much that I picked up the print book. It was also an good experience. The writing style makes for an interesting read and the pictures are a fun addition. Jun 08, Skip rated it really liked it Shelves: Amazing story of Orville and Wilbur Wright's intrepid efforts to create human flight. Their creativity, ingenuity, perseverance, and thirst for knowledge and understanding was truly remarkable, starting with a letter to the Smithsonian asking for references and their intense study of birds.
McCullough's research is impeccable, from their bicycle designs to their efforts to find the ideal location for testing desolate, windy Kitty Hawk , following their triumphs and setbacks, having to find suppo Amazing story of Orville and Wilbur Wright's intrepid efforts to create human flight.
McCullough's research is impeccable, from their bicycle designs to their efforts to find the ideal location for testing desolate, windy Kitty Hawk , following their triumphs and setbacks, having to find support overseas as the U.
Their single-mindedness and dedication is nicely supplemented by stories of string friendships wherever they went. Parts of the story were a bit dry or slow, which is why I did not give 5 stars. David McCullough can always be counted on to turn history into an interesting story. This book brings the Wright family dynamics and personalities to life. The brothers really did work hard on their project.
One of the things they learned after finding that their glider's flight was unstable is that all existing literature of the time about wing design was little more than guess work. The Wright brother designed their own wind tunnel and tried out numerous configurations before they came up with David McCullough can always be counted on to turn history into an interesting story.
The Wright brother designed their own wind tunnel and tried out numerous configurations before they came up with a wing design for stable flight. The comparison of the Wright brothers' work with the efforts of Samuel P. Langley of the Smithsonian is a classic David versus Goliath tale. One of the biggest differences between the two endeavors is that the Wright brothers had a machinist friend who in retrospect was a genius craftsman.
He was able manufacture a light gas powered internal combustion engine to use on the flying machine in about six weeks. Langley's engineers in contrast took years to do the equivalent. This book goes into more detail about their time spent in Europe than any other source I've read.
The European governments were more interested in and willing to pay for flying machines than the Americans. In retrospect they were visiting Europe during the prosperous climax of the Edwardian age a couple years prior to World War I. The brothers spent much of their time in later years defending their patents. I guess we shouldn't be too critical of this because tech companies today probably spend as much money on patent defense as on technical research.
The Wright brothers won all their contested patent suits. Wilber Wright died at the relatively young age of 47 of typhoid. With him gone and the death of their father soon after, Orville Wright and his sister Kathryn were left at their home in Dayton, Ohio.
When Kathryn decided to marry an acquaintance from her College days Orville refused to attend the wedding or visit her afterward.
Orville's behavior is regrettable, and I can't help but think that if Wilber had been living his presence would have ameliorated the family relationships. Wibur and Orville Wright were bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio. Neither of them had a college education or much money, but they had a lot of ingenuity. Together they risked their lives in the first attempts at human flight—and their success paved the way for the future of airplanes.
David McCullough brings empathy and a sense of wonder to the Wright legend, and also reveals the crucial role that their overlooked sister, Katherine, played in their story. This inspirational biography is terrific from beginning to end. I haven't read nearly enough of David McCullough's books. This is my second and I loved it. The story of the Wright Brothers is as fascinating as it is incredible.
From this book I learned that they were hard working men and SO determined. Never did they give up-despite the failure of numerous tests. Neither did they ever become anyone's pawn-they refused many offers of financial backing. Even though there were times when I'm sure they could have used it, they preferred to remain independent. The I haven't read nearly enough of David McCullough's books.
They may have been disturbed at times by newspapers and various magazines that described them as crazy and wasting their time, but they paid no heed. They camped out, in tents and outbuildings when performing their aerial testing-often coming close to running out of food. They were attacked by mosquitoes-once so severely they almost gave up and went home.
I think the trait that stuck with me the most was their humility. In much the same way that they ignored the doubters and naysayers, they also ignored those who wanted to put them on pedestals. They always kept their heads down and their eyes on the ball. From their interesting family life, to their bicycle shop and all of their various ups and downs, I found the Wright Brothers to be interesting and amazing examples of American entrepreneurship.
I find myself inspired by their story and proud to be from a country that could inspire men to such greatness. I recommend this book to anyone even slightly interested in learning more about the Wright Brothers.
This was an interesting and fun journey and I can't wait to read or listen to more of McCullough's works in the future. My highest recommendation! Jan 14, Amy rated it it was amazing. Curling up with a David McCullough book is like climbing into your grandfather's lap in his favorite armchair and whispering, "Tell me a story McCullough breathes such humanity into this history of Wilbur and Orville Wright, their family, friends, colleagues and adversaries, that I cheered, shouted, laughed, cried and soared right along with the famed aviators.
Told with a passion and skill that far exceeds most fiction writers, M Curling up with a David McCullough book is like climbing into your grandfather's lap in his favorite armchair and whispering, "Tell me a story Told with a passion and skill that far exceeds most fiction writers, McCullough has produced yet another masterful, true-life story that had me losing sleep and on the edge of my seat.
An absolute must-read! Jan 27, Laurie Anderson rated it liked it Shelves: Some wonderful details and great writing about the birth of flight. The ending came a bit abruptly, but I think that's because I wanted more. Jul 12, Brina rated it really liked it Shelves: McCullough is a master story in my book 2nd only to DKG.
Learned much of wright family in this captivating read. Jul 09, John rated it really liked it Shelves: Prior to reading this book most of my knowledge of the Wright Brothers had come from other aviation books. None of these books dealt with the brothers in an in-depth manner.
I knew of their first flight at Kitty Hawk and the fact that they were bicycle mechanics. I also knew about their wing warping technology and other tidbits. Never before did I get any inkling about what the brothers were like and the true extent of their genius.
This book, while it doesn't go in-depth with the technical aspe Prior to reading this book most of my knowledge of the Wright Brothers had come from other aviation books. This book, while it doesn't go in-depth with the technical aspects of their achievements, paints a detailed and very appealing picture of Wilbur and Orville Wright.
These two men besides being largely self taught aeronautical engineers and geniuses, were very humble and honest men, exactly the kind of hero that appealed to turn of the century Americans.
Frankly, this very thing is what appealed to me as well and is very refreshing to read about given the narcissistic and shallow nature of our current times and current "heroes. I will be seeking out his other works based upon my enjoyment of this one. I guess it's time to dust off that copy of John Adams that my mom gave to me a few years back.
I highly recommend this book. Excellent biography of Wright's brother - interesting to read after recent visit to Washington Smithsonian Air and Space museum. Apr 17, Sweetwilliam rated it really liked it. All-in-all, David McCullough did a great job of writing a very readable page book.
At times the author presents some fairly technical details but he does so in a manner that can be appreciated by all.
Year after year, the brothers returned to Kitty Hawk to perfect the wings by gliding. In a stiff wind, the brothers would fly the plane like a kite. In their time off they wo All-in-all, David McCullough did a great job of writing a very readable page book.
In their time off they would lean against a fence and observe how birds fly so that they could apply these concepts to their plane. After perfecting the wings and fuselage, the brothers had a trusted bicycle shop employee by the name of Charlie Taylor, build an aluminum 4-cylinder engine.
Meanwhile, the brothers designed and built propellers. Amazingly, the brothers were self-funded by their bicycle shop. They would sell bicycles to fund their development activities and annual trips to Kitty Hawk.
Meanwhile, there were other well-funded consortiums trying to develop an airplane. The Langley aerodrome currently hangs from the ceiling of the Air and Space museum. It is a good thing it hangs there because that is the only way that thing would get off the ground.
The French were also trying to develop a plane but their efforts could barely get off the ground while the Wright Brothers were flying figure-eight patterns and staying airborne for 30 minutes at a time.
The French loved Wilbur Wright and the brothers became heroes there. The feeling was mutual and there were no accounts of rude Frenchmen.
Many so-called experts of the day wrote technical articles indicating that it was impossible to fly. This was at the same time the brothers were developing their plane.
This reminds me of the 4-minute mile. That was another milestone that the experts said was impossible to surpass. This book stands as an example of what humanity is capable of when they can conceive and believe it. Look how far we have come! During the wars that followed, Orville was asked about their invention being used as an instrument of death.
He compared the invention of the airplane to man's discovery of fire. Orville said Fire has done enormous damage to human civilization over the centuries, but when you add everything up, it's still a good thing that we had fire.
I thought this book was great. If there is one key takeaway, it's that the Wright Brothers put the modern definition of "dog fooding" ones own product to shame.
It's one thing to have fun playing with your own iOS app. Another thing to strap yourself into some crazy kite-shaped contraption, attach a home made motor, turn on the propeller you just invented, and fling yourself 20 stories in the air, hoping to land.
Also full of interesting anecdotes about their lives, the painful and rewarding proc I thought this book was great. Also full of interesting anecdotes about their lives, the painful and rewarding process of invention, travels through Europe to demonstrate their new "flying machine", and amazingly, how long it took to get people to believe them once they had actually invented flying.
Great read. A testament to true ingenuity and entrepreneurship.
Would highly recommend. Jan 13, Max rated it really liked it Shelves: A quintessential American story told by the master of historical narrative. We are carried along with Wilbur and Orville as they ply the skies in their magnificent flying machine. We can feel the excitement and astonishment of the crowds as they watch. We witness the years of planning, preparation and hard work that led to their success.
The ingenuity, zeal, vision, determination and attention to detail exhibited by this pair are amazing and just a few of the accolades that could be used. An ins A quintessential American story told by the master of historical narrative. An inspiration and a page turner.
Recommended for everyone. Non-fiction about the lives of the Wright brothers, with a good portion of the book focused on invention of the airplane, test flights, and public exhibitions. It was an exciting period in history, when impactful inventions such as electric light, telephone, phonograph, telegraph, radio, motion pictures, typewriter, and the like were rapidly changing the fabric of society.
These two accomplished men never attended college but were well-educated through reading, experimenting, and hands-on tinker Non-fiction about the lives of the Wright brothers, with a good portion of the book focused on invention of the airplane, test flights, and public exhibitions. These two accomplished men never attended college but were well-educated through reading, experimenting, and hands-on tinkering with bicycles, printing presses, and other machinery.
Wilbur was brilliant, calculating the physical properties of air current rushing through a propeller to drive a plane forward based on observations of birds and the screws of a ship. Orville excelled at mechanical ability and entrepreneurship. They were two men with dreams and determination. Where this this biography differs from others is that it includes not only Wilbur and Orville, but the immediate family members, including sister Katharine, a teacher, and father Milton, a clergyman.
McCullough did an excellent job of showing the character of the Wright family members through including relevant passages from their numerous letters. Their personalities were at the forefront.
Smart, courageous, respectful, they were men of integrity who took great pride in their work. The author has taken his research and brought it together into a compelling story.
I gained insight into the motivations of the brothers.
They were down to earth, driven, and possessed a keen desire to protect their place in history. Unfortunately, it meant they had lots copyright infringement lawsuits to address. I found it both inspirational and informative. The audio book was competently read by the author.A fun, fast ride.
They were not — as we have all come to believe—two halves of the same apple. Retrieved August 27, Knopf Mapguides: The family environment was very supportive of the brothers to fulfill whatever life they might seek. Maggie Hoffman. There were also two other brothers not nearly as close as the bachelors Orville and Wilbur, who could seem like twins. They read books and pamphlets and studied birds and what others before them had attempted and worked on for years.
These two men besides being largely self taught aeronautical engineers and geniuses, were very humble and honest men, exactly the kind of hero that appealed to turn of the century Americans. Creativity Inc.
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