The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
(Simon & Schuster, 2015, 320 pages)
The Wright Brothers is another well-written book by Pulitzer Prize winner, David McCullough. As the title indicates, this book is a biography of the Wright Brothers. Wilbur and Orville Wright were two brothers with the intellect and mechanical know-how that allowed them to invent, build, and fly a plane. The Wright Brothers is a story of determination and courage. In the early years, almost no one was interested in the Wright Brothers’ attempt at flight. The general public didn’t really believe that two brothers who owned a bicycle shop could make a successful flight. When the brothers did start making successful flights, they couldn’t get the attention of the United States government. Instead, they got the attention of the French government. The French people were the first to see successful demonstrations of Wilbur Wright flying a plane.
I had never given much thought to the Wright Brothers being from Dayton, Ohio, but choosing Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to start testing their gliders. Wilbur and Orville Wright picked Kitty Hawk because of the prevailing winds and the sand. It was quite an ordeal to pack up their glider and themselves and get to Kitty Hawk. Once on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, there were no hotels. They had to build shelter for themselves and their glider. It seemed there was no end to what the brothers could do.
I enjoyed reading this book. It was much shorter than the other McCullough books that I’ve read. If you want a behind-the-scenes look at the Wright brothers home life, upbringing, business sense, and attempts to fly, The Wright Brothers is for you.