Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interest and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, who encouraged their studying. As individuals they had differing skill sets and passions but as a team they excelled in any given task. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no patron to open doors to their desires, never stopped them in their goal to take the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed, or, at the very least, maimed.
In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers' story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.
Hardcover 320 pages