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The Wright Brothers

The Wright Brothers

Written by David McCullough

Narrated by David McCullough


The Wright Brothers

Written by David McCullough

Narrated by David McCullough

ratings:
4.5/5 (304 ratings)
Length:
10 hours
Released:
May 5, 2015
ISBN:
9781442376090
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as ebookEbook

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Also available as ebookEbook

Description

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 December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright's Wright Flyer became the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard. The Age of Flight had begun. How did they do it? And why? David McCullough tells the extraordinary and truly American story of the two brothers who changed the world.

Sons of an itinerant preacher and a mother who died young, Wilbur and Orville Wright grew up in a small side street in Dayton, Ohio, in a house that lacked indoor plumbing and electricity but was filled with books and a love of learning. The brothers ran a bicycle shop that allowed them to earn enough money to pursue their mission in life: flight. In the 1890s flying was beginning to advance beyond the glider stage, but there were major technical challenges that the Wrights were determined to solve. They traveled to North Carolina's remote Outer Banks to test their plane because there they found three indispensable conditions: constant winds, soft surfaces for landings, and privacy.

Flying was exceedingly dangerous; the Wrights risked their lives every time they flew in the years that followed. Orville nearly died in a crash in 1908, before he was nursed back to health by his sister, Katharine, an unsung and important part of the brothers' success and of McCullough's book. Despite their achievement, the Wrights could not convince the US government to take an interest in their plane until after they demonstrated its success in France, where the government instantly understood the importance of their achievement. Now, in this revelatory book, master historian David McCullough draws on nearly 1,000 letters of family correspondence-plus diaries, notebooks, and family scrapbooks in the Library of Congress-to tell the full story of the Wright brothers and their heroic achievement.
Released:
May 5, 2015
ISBN:
9781442376090
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other acclaimed books include The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, Brave Companions, 1776, The Greater Journey, The American Spirit, The Wright Brothers, and The Pioneers. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Visit DavidMcCullough.com.



Reviews

What people think about The Wright Brothers

4.7
304 ratings / 26 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Enjoyed listening to the amazing story of the Wright brothers.
  • (5/5)
    A captivating read. The events leading up to the invention of the Wright Flyer was amazing. Most surprising was their lives after their first flight, in which they became world renowned. Well worth the time.
  • (5/5)
    I loved the detail of this book. I first was interested in reading it to know the depth of their scientific process in developing the first airplanes, but I also loved learning about the details of the personalities of the whole Wright family, personal events they experienced, and what life was like for them after the creation of the airplane. The whole book was done very well, from beginning to the end.
  • (5/5)
    A brilliant and emotive rendition of the most fascinating adventure of all time. A great incite into the minds of the brothers and that period only just over 100 years ago. Hard to believe how far we have come in that last century. This book transports you to the beginning of flight with all the doubters and intrigue that surrounded the subject back then .
  • (4/5)
    Excellent book, would have liked more technical information about aspects of development, especially how they modelled flight numerically using their wind tunnel pre computing age. The book makes one realise the extraordinary contribution of these two men.

    The author is elderly, another narrator would have been preferred. Play on 1.25 speed to overcome this. Otherwise a very enjoyable read. Makes one realise what a gilded age pre-ww1 was for those with money. The difference being the rights earned their wealth, contrasting with the idle rich.
  • (5/5)
    inspirational, credible, well written and performed. one takeaway: "generally accepted data" does not mean it's correct