My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Another readable McCullough treatment of history that purports to be generally-known. McCullough doesn't dig too deep; he skims the surface of the leisurely reader of history and engages us just enough to keep us turning the pages.
The genesis of man's flight is fascinating in itself; that people had been thinking about it and trying it since daVinci (and probably before that, too) yet when two introverted brothers from Dayton cracked the code to flight in 1903, suddenly it was as if the dam had burst. Progress was extraordinarily fast. By 1914, planes were developed enough to be used in WWI. Only 24 years later, in 1927, Lindbergh proved planes could fly across oceans. But McCullough only alludes to all the post-Wright history. His book functionally ends when Wilbur dies in 1912 (I was reminded of my disappointment when I finished McCullough's book 1776, only then realizing that it was only going to cover the titular year, not the entire Revolutionary War).
But flight is not McCullough's subject, really. His subject are the personalities behind flight; he concentrates on the brothers and the people surrounding the brothers and tells a story of two odd ducks who believed they could solve the mystery of flight. And did.
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