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

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

by James Tobin
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To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
James Tobin does justice for aviation history. What a remarkable work of history, truth, and capitalism! This isn't your ordinary history book writer. James Tobin writes in novelistic fashion the climatic beginning of an era and invention that changed the world. If you ever wanted to understand how aviation started read this book. From a German¿s theory of lift/drag to Wilbur's application of it; from the dreams of many to the hopes of two men; from the sharing of ideas to the race for acknowledgement; from stupidly to Wright thinking, the author doesn't leave out any details. Every person direct and indirectly related to the events is presented with such reporting style, unbiased, and not opinionated that I haven't seen in years. It was hard to put down. Although I am pilot, I think anyone will love this book that is interested in not only history but also the story of great and small people at the turn of the twentieth century. It is a must read for all those wanting to understand the 100th Anniversary of Heavier than Air Powered Flight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone knows that the Wright Brothers made the first heavier than air flights, but few know the details of how they did it, or what others were trying to do at the same time. Tobin's book does a great job of describing the efforts of the French, Alexander Graham Bell, Langley, Curtiss, and others. He does this while keeping the focus on the Wright's work, but with the suspense of a great race. The book reads like a good story, not like an historic tome. I highly recommend it - especially for North Carolinians!
Guest More than 1 year ago
James Tobin¿s To Conquer the Air is a brilliant story that illustrates the challenges, failures, and success that the Wright Brothers faced in creating the world of aviation. This book accurately restates every moment of not only the Wright Brother¿s advances in aviation, but also accounts for the advances of several other competing teams around the world, such as Bell Industries prototypes, and Langley¿s expensive but unsuccessful experiments. To Conquer the Air starts out by introducing the history, and motivation of the characters that make up the competing teams. And from there, continues the adventures in aviation advancement, side by side as the teams work entirely independently from each other. The book primarily focuses on the challenges and accomplishments the Wright Brothers face with each experiment. While Langley¿s expensively failed experiments are merely added as ¿comical relief¿, and to support the significance of the Wright Brother¿s advancements. A major theme that stands out in this book is how greatly good engineering can affect the progress of research. The Wright Brothers made tremendous advancements for the amount of money that went into their project, although a lot of time and hard work also accompanied their advances. Langley¿s over priced research and poorly planned experiments, in the end, yielded nothing more than a large bill to accompany the numerous ignored failures. In addition to the comical and adventurous events, James Tobin excels in organizing and restating every step the Wright Brothers took in the aviation research, from the initial stages of planning, to learning from the wrecked gliders, and the final flights that the Wright Brother¿s made with their aircraft. The only downside to Tobin¿s accurate accounts is that the story occasionally side tracks to characters that are somewhat irrelevant to the plot. But over all, To Conquer the Air ranks right along Tobin¿s other works, such as Ernie Pyle¿s War. While this book may not interest lighter readers, I would definitely recommend it to any one who enjoys the origins of aviation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To Conquer the Air was eloquent, fascinating, and informative. James Tobin weaves his perfect words into an interesting story. I'm not much of a how-things-work person, but this book made me even more interested.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gracefully and well told by James Tobin, The Wright brothers (and sister) depict the best of America: Taciturn while gracious, industrious, cautious, inquisitive, careful, competent, creative¿with an experimental flair. I could not put the book down