“Wilbur would remark that if he were to give a young man advice on how to get ahead in life, he would say, “Pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.”
You cannot escape knowing about the Wright Brothers when you live in Ohio. Knowing that the Wright Brothers were the first in powered flight is different than knowing their life stories. David McCullough brings their story, both good and bad, to light in The Wright Brothers.
I could not miss hearing about this book in Ohio, especially since Tom Hanks came to visit several months ago with plans to make a miniseries based on the book. I’ve had it on my to-read list for a long time and the wait list at the library is long (both hard copy and e-book). I finally received a copy as a gift and started reading it within a few days of receiving it.
I barely put this book down during the few days I read it. McCullough does a great job taking historical research and creating a book that reads like fiction and not dry history. The book brings to life Dayton, the Wright family and the competition on the world’s stage for powered flight. I found the description of the Wright brothers’ determination and the world economy to be the most interesting. When Orville and Wilbur finally accomplished powered flight, they garnered little recognition in Dayton or the United States. They spent a lot of time overseas with France, England and Germany showing interest in airplanes. Their popularity overseas is what finally got them attention back home. They were true entrepreneurs and ran a printing shop and custom-made bicycle shop, all while keeping the dream of flight alive (and well tried and researched).
I would recommend this book to anyone middle-school age or older who is interested in history. It is definitely a must-read before the miniseries comes out as there are more details in the books than could be captured on film. What these two men accomplished in such a short amount of time is utterly amazing. Read this book!