I loved this book about the Wright brothers written by David McCullough (who also wrote Truman and The Greater Journey). It is the perfect blend of a great writer and thorough researcher– with a direct and unadorned style– writing a full account of very remarkable, but likable people.
I admired the Wright brothers for their many fine qualities. They were whole hearted about their chief aim in life, which was to fly. They were always convinced about the merit of what they were doing, even when no one else believed it was possible, and were jeering from all sides. They accomplished their dream because they focused on it untiringly, applying hard work and patient persistence, every step of the way. They were always thinking of what they needed to do next, and never dwelt in the past. They were clean and honest, generous and loyal, faithful and deliberate. They kept the Sabbath. They were kind about others’ efforts even when the others failed and they did not. They did not let fame go to their head, but remained down to earth (even though they were flyers).
The author has pulled this story from a vast array of letters, diaries, and newspapers, which discussed the story as it was unfolding. The matter of fact way of writing is pleasant and easy to read; there is nothing dry or tedious about it, even though this is non-fiction. You are cheering for these brothers (and their sister) all the way, and they deserve it.
I give this book 5 stars. It is great to read a book about people who were a huge success, but remained humble and relatively unaffected, because their integrity and enormous effort defined them, and did not change. Their ingenuity and creative approach to problems and setbacks, as well as their cheerful determination, are an example to us all.