Monday, February 27, 2017

Gentlemen of the Air: The Wright Brothers

by David McCullough

This is an enjoyable biography of the Wright brothers filled with quotes from letters, diaries, and articles. If you ever wanted to study the lives of men who humbly but diligently changed the world through dedication, perseverance, careful experimentation and documentation, and courage to face physical danger, read about the Wright brothers!
Their nephew Milton, who as a boy was often hanging about the brothers, would one day write, "History was being made in their bicycle shop and in their home, but the making was so obscured by the commonplace that I did not recognize it until many years later."
I enjoyed reading about the first published report on the Wright brothers and their success in aeronautics. Amos Root visited them and, with their permission, wrote a lovely account he published in his journal, Gleanings in Bee Culture. Isn't that wonderful? Apparently, he sent a copy to Scientific American and gave permission for it to be freely reprinted, but they declined.
On July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong, another American born and raised in southwestern Ohio, stepped onto the moon, he carried with him, in tribute to the Wright brothers, a small swatch of the muslin from a wing of their 1903 Flyer.
And now it's back at the Smithsonian.


  1. Did first son read it? Isaac LOVES airplanes and enjoyed it and even made a presentation on the wright brothers for school!

  2. He didn't read it, but I think he could. I think it's a great book for middle school and high school. He's just not as interested in reading more serious books yet. I've assigned a less daunting book for history on the Wright brothers this year. Hopefully he'll read this one in the future.

  3. Ooh! Thank you for this review! This has been on my list to buy soon. :)

  4. Brandy, you're going to love it as much as McCullough's other books.


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