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The Wright Brothers

Written by: David McCullough
Narrated by: David McCullough
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Publisher's Summary

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 on a small sidestreet 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 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 but 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.

©2015 David McCullough (P)2015 Simon & Schuster Audio

What the critics say

"David McCullough's reading of his new biography of the Wright Brothers is a stellar production on every count, and a supremely satisfying listening experience. McCullough's calm, avuncular voice, familiar to millions from his PBS productions, is for many of us the voice of history itself." (AudioFile)

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What listeners say about The Wright Brothers

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Must read for any aviation fan!

Well told story of great scientific and engineering discovery and determination by the Wright brothers to profoundly change our world.

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Five star

It is in leading ourselves that we achieve greatness . For when we lead ourselves we follow our dreams . This story captures the his truth.

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Top five

All time best! If you like nature and history this is one for you. They looked and saw the wind between the vultures feather tips and they captured it under their wings, and writer/narrator captured it in his pages. A great story, beautifully delivered.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book by a great historian!

David McCollough is a brilliant narrator..albeit getting older. The greatest documentarian Ken Burns had him narrate some of the finest documentaries of all time! His brilliant narration doubtless added to their success. I often seek his narration on an audiobook....and he has never let me down! this makes this audiobook a treasure.

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Interesting story, awful voice

Interesting story and inspiring. However, David is a good writer but awful voice actor. No emotion and dull tone of voice.

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Interesting story but...

the story of the Wright brothers and the birth of aviation is a compelling one. I'm sure the book is well written as well, the problem with the audiobook is that it is read by the author and unfortunately he does a poor job at it

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