The Wright Brothers

The Wright BrothersThe Wright Brothers by David McCullough
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars. McCullough’s telling of the story of the Wright brothers draws on personal diaries, notebooks, and more than 1,000 letters from private family correspondence. I liked learning of their sister Katharine, whose devotion to the family played an important and unsung role. She gave her whole life to them, only daring to get married at age 52. Even then, Orville flew into a rage and refused to speak to her again. But frankly, I expected more from someone with the renown of this author. I would have liked to learn more about the family. Why did neither brother ever marry? Orville rages were dismissed as just some kind of eccentric “spells.” What did they do with their lives after Kitty Hawk and Paris? How did the aeronautics industry develop out of their inventions? This could have been a much better developed story. Instead, it just whets the appetite.

Book description: 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.

Audiobook read by the author.