To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight

Written by:
James Tobin
Narrated by:
Boyd Gaines

Abridged Audiobook

Ratings
Book
13
Narrator
1
Release Date
April 2003
Duration
6 hours 0 minutes
Summary
James Tobin, award-winning author of Ernie Pyle's War and The Man He Became, has penned the definitive account of the inspiring and impassioned race between the Wright brothers and their primary rival Samuel Langley across ten years and two continents to conquer the air.

For years, Wilbur Wright and his younger brother, Orville, experimented in obscurity, supported only by their exceptional family. Meanwhile, the world watched as Samuel Langley, armed with a contract from the US War Department and all the resources of the Smithsonian Institution, sought to create the first manned flying machine. But while Langley saw flight as a problem of power, the Wrights saw a problem of balance. Thus their machines took two very different paths—Langley’s toward oblivion, the Wrights’ toward the heavens—though not before facing countless other obstacles. With a historian’s accuracy and a novelist’s eye, Tobin has captured an extraordinary moment in history. To Conquer the Air is itself a heroic achievement.
Reviews
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Kate Wasem

Best book on the Wright Bros---and their competitors---I've yet heard. Includes amazing quotes, history, personal stories, and engineering. I highly recommend this book!

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Anthony Hewitt

I haven't quite finished this one yet, but it has been excellent so far!

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Tonytoga

Through the years, I've had an appetite for reading about the Wright brothers that has never quite been satisfied. Literally hundreds of books have been written about the two & I suppose I've worked my way through a dozen or more before finding James Tobin's version. This book provides a nuanced history of the search for answers in unlocking the misteries of flight in America as the 19th century closed and the 20th opened. Actor Boyd Gaines, always a top ten narrator, gives an excellent performance of this book which is one of the best abrdigements (oximoron) I've seen in a while. Gaines's character accents, including the midwestern accents of all the Wright family, add a great deal to the performance. Wright, Chanute, Langley, Curtis and even Alexander Graham Bell (yes, he had a keen interest in aviation) are all here and their activities are chronicaled alongside the Wrights'. A very well done book very much worth your time.

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Anonymous

I listened to this because of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers flight last year. It is riveting. If you want to learn about the fascinating history of aviation, this book is a must read!

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Anonymous

I listened to this because of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers flight last year. It is riveting. If you want to learn about the fascinating history of aviation, this book is a must read!

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