WHAT IS IT ABOUT
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 has been widely acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history,” “a matchless writer.”
He is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, twice winner of the National Book Award,
and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom,
the nation’s highest civilian award.In the words of the citation accompanying his honorary degree from Yale,
“As an historian, he paints with words, giving us pictures of the American people that live, breathe, and above all,
confront the fundamental issues of courage, achievement, and moral character.”
In a crowded, productive career, he has been an editor, teacher, lecturer,
and familiar presence on public television—as host of Smithsonian World, The American Experience,
and narrator of numerous documentaries including Ken Burns’s The Civil War.
His is also the narrator’s voice in the movie Seabiscuit.
John Adams, the seven-part mini-series on HBO produced by Tom Hanks,
was one of the most acclaimed and talked about television events of recent years.
A gifted speaker, Mr. McCullough has lectured in all parts of the country and abroad, as well as at the White House.
He is also one of the few private citizens to speak before a joint session of Congress.
Born in Pittsburgh in 1933, Mr. McCullough was educated there and at Yale,
where he graduated with honors in English Literature.
He is an avid reader, traveler, and has enjoyed a lifelong interest in art and architecture.
He is also a devoted painter.
Mr. McCullough and his wife Rosalee Barnes McCullough have five children and nineteen grandchildren.
HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?
What’s your favorite book by McCullough?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN A COMMENT PLEASE
In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this ebook for free from Simon & Schuster through Jellybooks in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.
This book counted for 2015 Reading Challenges
Wow. Looks like a great book to get that many towers. I love biographies and nonfiction that do such great research.
yes, I don’t easily give 5 Eiffel Towers! highly recommended
This was a great book. I learned a lot. I didn’t realize how little I really knew about them.
Personally, I basically knew nothing
I have The Greatest Journey and need to read it! I began it and then it got lost in the ever-growing push-down stack of TBRs. Now this book is another one I want to take account of–I know a couple of people who would love it.
Although students now may not be receiving the practical training to do what the Wright brothers did, perhaps their schooling and experiences today are just what’s needed for the upcoming inventions of the future. Is this a self-fulfilling prophecy (or even a tautology)? Probably! But it does sound fascinating to learn what ingredients went into one of the most crucial modern inventions.
I do hope today’s students are encouraged to be creative. This is not what I’m picking up when I hear parents talking about school, but I hope I’m wrong.
And yes The Greatest Journey is excellent
What a terrific post. THANKS.
This book is our book club’s pick for March.
ah perfect! I’m glad you will have the opportunity to read it. After, let me know how your discussion went
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