The Wright Brothers: Wright Brothers by David McCulloughThe Wright Brothers: Wright Brothers by David McCulloughsticker-burst

The Wright Brothers: Wright Brothers

byDavid McCullough

Hardcover | May 5, 2015

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Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells 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 unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot.

Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?

David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading.

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, little money and no contacts in high places, 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 in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed.

In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers’ story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.
David McCullough was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 7, 1933. He received a bachelor's degree in English literature from Yale University in 1955. After graduation, he moved to New York City and worked as a trainee at Sports Illustrated. He later worked as a writer and editor for the United States Information Agency, in Washing...
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Title:The Wright Brothers: Wright BrothersFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1.3 inPublished:May 5, 2015Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476728747

ISBN - 13:9781476728742

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from You may know their story but David McCullough brings it to life. I was curious to know more of the history of the Wright brothers and this book surpassed my expectations. They were truly amazing and their story should inspire people for generations to come.
Date published: 2016-12-10

Read from the Book

The Wright Brothers PROLOGUE From ancient times and into the Middle Ages, man had dreamed of taking to the sky, of soaring into the blue like the birds. One savant in Spain in the year 875 is known to have covered himself with feathers in the attempt. Others devised wings of their own design and jumped from rooftops and towers—some to their deaths—in Constantinople, Nuremberg, Perugia. Learned monks conceived schemes on paper. And starting about 1490, Leonardo da Vinci made the most serious studies. He felt predestined to study flight, he said, and related a childhood memory of a kite flying down onto his cradle. According to brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, Ohio, it began for them with a toy from France, a small helicopter brought home by their father, Bishop Milton Wright, a great believer in the educational value of toys. The creation of a French experimenter of the nineteenth century, Alphonse Pénaud, it was little more than a stick with twin propellers and twisted rubber bands, and probably cost 50 cents. “Look here, boys,” said the Bishop, something concealed in his hands. When he let go it flew to the ceiling. They called it the “bat.” Orville’s first teacher in grade school, Ida Palmer, would remember him at his desk tinkering with bits of wood. Asked what he was up to, he told her he was making a machine of a kind that he and his brother were going to fly someday.

Editorial Reviews

“A master storyteller. . . . The brothers’ story unfolds and develops with grace and insight in a style at which McCullough is simply the best.”