The Wright Brothers by David McCullough….a review of a book about inventions and two amazing inventors.

I was shocked to discover that me and the Wright Brothers  figured out all about flying in much the same manner.

Amazon link to book.


One of my favorite TV shows is "The Shark Tank", which features a panel of investors willing to stake money in inventions and new products as submitted by eager entrepreneurs.

I couldn't invent anything, truthfully, but man I am full of ideas about stuff needing inventing.

Oh to have lived in the era before airplanes because I am going to tell you true, I figured out the same thing that the Wright brothers did-that would be Wilbur and Orville.  Which is that flying is a fairly simple thing and entirely possible with a little tweaking here and there and proper configuration.  Even more mind-boggling to me was knowing that the Wright brothers watched the birds for hours and hours until they figured out how to do it.


Ok, yon reader may laugh.  But I am an avid bird-watcher and also spent many hours watching my bird fellows of all kinds, from turkey-buzzard (one the major bird-teachers in the Wright brother school of flying) to hummingbird to titmouse.  At some point in my many hours then years of bird-watching I realized that it is pretty easy to fly and not at all an activity restricted to birds.

Of course airplanes and jets and stuff had already been invented when I was watching the helicopter hummingbird to the jet osprey on to the turkey-vulture glider.  During my birding pondering all sorts of flying vehicles made by man took to the skies.  And each method of manufacture imitated the way some bird, somewhere on the planet, flew.  Only the birds evolved to their method of flight while humans used metal and wood to create theirs from scratch.

 Well maybe you had to be there.

 Because Wilbur and Orville got to dream it into happening, while I looked at that hummingbird at my feeder, and the helicopter had already been invented.

I got viscerally excited reading about the many hours the Wright boys studied birds until they finally realized that it's only air.  And air, with the right machine, can be navigated.  With a touch of serendipity, mankind's first form of air travel was copied from the birds' evolution.

Along with many hours of studying birds, I was transfixed with the reading of this book.  David McCullough is a well-known author and this reader admired his research skills.  McCullough studied up on the Wright Brothers and all details was known.

 The subject of the book is, of course, fascinating.  Reading the facts gathered and written within made it all more fascinating.  After all, what did I know before reading this book about the Wright Brothers?  I knew  that  two nerdy guys rigged up some goofy contraption that stayed in the air for a few minutes.

I had no idea they owned a prosperous bicycle shop or that they were the toast of France, or even that neither of them ever got married.

David McCullough did a wonderful job in showing the reader, via concise and accurate prose, all the facts about the Wright Brothers.


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