The Wright brothers

Book Cover
Simon & Schuster,
Pub. Date:
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
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.

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Grouped Work ID 3fad60f9-2619-aad1-08a5-a6267ea80aaa
full_title wright brothers
author mccullough david g
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2018-03-16 10:21:18AM

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accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author McCullough, David G.,
author_display McCullough, David G
available_at_western Western State Colorado University
collection_western General
detailed_location_western WSCU Book Stacks
display_description 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? 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. 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.
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primary_isbn 9781476728759
publishDate 2015, 2016
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series Thorndike Press large print popular and narrative nonfiction
series_with_volume Thorndike Press large print popular and narrative nonfiction
subject_facet Aeronautics -- United States -- Biography, Aeronautics -- United States -- History -- 20th century, Audiobooks, Biographies, Haskell, Katharine Wright, -- 1874-1929, Large type books, Wright, Orville, -- 1871-1948, Wright, Wilbur, -- 1867-1912
title_display The Wright brothers
title_full The Wright brothers / David McCullough, The Wright brothers [sound recording] / David McCullough
title_short The Wright brothers
topic_facet Aeronautics, Haskell, Katharine Wright, History, Wright, Orville, Wright, Wilbur