Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Mini-Review of "The Wright Brothers" by David McCullough - Leading To A Deeper Appreciation of the Genius of Wilbur and Orville
I have become a big fan of the writing of David McCullough. His biography of John Adams made our nation's second president come alive to me for the first time. In the same way, this twin biography of the Wright brothers brought my appreciation of the genius of these men to a new altitude. Writing in his very approachable style and integrating deep research, McCullough makes the reader feel like he or she is there with the brothers - in Dayton, at Kitty Hawk, in Paris and Berlin.
I had previously been unaware of the role that the Wright's sister Katherine played in supporting them and keeping things going at home while Wilbur and Orville travelled to test their evolving ideas of aviation. What becomes crystal clear throughout this book is that the achievement of the brothers lay in their and wind tunnel assiduous attention to detail, their willingness to work hard and to record with precision each lesson they learned from test flights. I had also been unaware of the serious injuries that Orville sustained when a propeller broke during a test flight and he and a passenger crash landed.