The #1 New York Times bestseller from David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize—the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly—Wilbur and Orville Wright.
On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two brothers—bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio—changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe that the age of flight had begun, with the first powered machine carrying a pilot.
Orville and Wilbur Wright were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education and little money never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off, they risked being killed.
In this “enjoyable, fast-paced tale” (The Economist), master historian David McCullough “shows as never before how two Ohio boys from a remarkable family taught the world to fly” (The Washington Post) and “captures the marvel of what the Wrights accomplished” (The Wall Street Journal). He draws on the extensive Wright family papers to profile not only the brothers but their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them. Essential reading, this is “a story of timeless importance, told with uncommon empathy and fluency…about what might be the most astonishing feat mankind has ever accomplished…The Wright Brothers soars” (The New York Times Book Review).
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Wright Brothers
I am from North Carolina. We received a very cursory bit of information in our history classes about the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk. I have visited the monument, etc. numerous times. BUT I had never really learned about all the intense work and trials of the "first" flights. My husband and I have been truly fascinated with the book. We like that the author read the book. We highly recommend it! It is high on our list of favorite books.
ONLY ONE TRACK
There is ONLY 1 Track—There is ONLY 1 Track
The ONE track has minuscule markers allowing you to skip through but only ONE track.
This makes it hard to spot where you are at and hinders going directly to a section, or to pick up where you left listening to it (ex. listening to it over several day and NOT Listening to it for 10 hours straight, or listening to it interspersed with something else) (Or how far do you go scroll back to repeat what you just heard—a millimeter skips a long ways) (Hard to find where you were at—when I try to pick up where I left off—I have discover areas that I have accidentally skipped)
The ONE TRACK need to be broken into smaller sections (Like even Chapters or Parts) EXAMPLE the book has (11 Chapters which are in 3 Parts + Epilogue)
Now to the Audio Book: Other than the TRACK issue, I enjoyed the audio book and have listened to it several times and perused the book a number of time too. Reader: David McCullough does not give voice variations to the different characters, although his voice is pleasant to listen to. I appreciated the personal family insights he gleaned from the many letters between the Wright Brothers, Sister and Father. I especially learned more about sister Katherine's involvement. He gave interesting insights into Charlie Taylor, and behind the scenes with the Wrights in Paris.
If you want a side by side comparison of what was happening with others in flight (Langley, Bell, Curtis, etc) each year during their pursuit of flight, I recommend To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight by James Tobin. + Audio Version if you can find it.
Love Mr. McCullough's work, not so much narration
I have never given the Wright bros. due diligence so this book seemed perfect as a way to "catch up" on them. It's a shame they had the author narrate it; his voice is not strong. I recommend buying this book to read, not listen to.
The author/narrator makes a stark error in stating that the fourth (and longest) flight was half a mile. It was 852 feet-approximately 1:6 mile.