The Wright Brothers

The Wright Brothers

Downloadable Audiobook - 2015 | Unabridged
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.On December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright’s Wright Flyer became the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard. The Age of Flight had begun. How did they do it? And why? David McCullough tells the extraordinary and truly American story of the two brothers who changed the world. Sons of an itinerant preacher and a mother who died young, Wilbur and Orville Wright grew up in a small side street in Dayton, Ohio, in a house that lacked indoor plumbing and electricity but was filled with books and a love of learning. The brothers ran a bicycle shop that allowed them to earn enough money to pursue their mission in life: flight. In the 1890s flying was beginning to advance beyond the glider stage,...
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Audio, 2015
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781442379909

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 25, 2019

An interesting tale. McCullough is clearly a bit biased: a fan of the legendary brothers. But the story is interesting enough for us to forgive that. All I knew was "invented airplanes..... Kitty Hawk". They fly above the sandy beaches of Kitty Hawk in Disc 3 (of the 8) What happens after those first flights is much more interesting. Clemenceau, Alexander Graham Bell, Roosevelt. . . . . Having the author read the audiobook is an odd choice. His delivery is a bit flat, and his voice gravelly. Sort of like listening to our favourite, somewhat elderly uncle read to us. But I've heard much worse narrators on audiobooks !

Aug 20, 2019

Start on disc 8

IndyPL_SteveB Jul 14, 2019

An admiring and fascinating biography of the inventors of the airplane by one of our great American historians. I really didn’t have a full appreciation of how much original research and invention the brothers had done until this book. McCullough notes that the brothers financed their own research and construction, only spending about one thousand dollars total in five years to build the first Wright Flyer, *including* three trips to Kitty Hawk. McCullough relies heavily on the Wright Brothers own correspondence, as well as news accounts of the time and appreciations by contemporaries. When they first became interested in flight, they were highly successful bicycle mechanics and developers in Dayton, Ohio. They were given much information by the Smithsonian Museum; but when they built their first glider, they discovered that most of what was “known” was wrong. They constructed a wind tunnel to research wing construction and then built an aluminum block engine for the most power for weight. As they became world celebrated, they never changed their modest ways.

Very entertaining and you will likely develop a new appreciation for one of the greatest American feats of invention. The author reads his own book extremely well.

Nov 05, 2018

Wilbur and Orville were an amazing team. McCullough tells their story very well. I usually prefer reading, but audiobooks are great for the commute. This is one that I may end up reading as well - it's such an inspiring history.

Apr 26, 2017

Amazing how the author brings to life to Wright Brothers. There are so many fascinating members of the Wright family that helped the two brothers with their engineering and manufacturing of the first planes. You won't believe where they first tried out their experimental planes. It is just an wonderful story of determination and how two men changed the world with an invention that people first thought was a folly. We owe these men the honor of making the United States the owners of the first airplane to successfully fly!!

ArapahoeLesley Apr 21, 2017

Definitely a comprehensive look into the Wright family and accomplishments, this is a great book for those who love American history and flight. I hate planes personally but still found the Wright brothers very interesting.

VaughanPLDavidB Jan 25, 2017

My knowledge of the Wright brothers started and finished with the date of their first flight and the location. Beyond that I knew nothing, so all the remaining details were quite fascinating, particularly the inclusion of the stories of their father and sister.

Sep 22, 2016

Another wonderful book by McCullough, and it was read so well by the author too! Sympathetic, learned, genuinely and infectiously interested; I found it edifying and interesting.

Aug 28, 2016

Really enjoyed the recording of this book. It is read by the author, who's voice lends to the feeling of listening to a wonderful story being told by one's grandfather, while sitting in front of the fireplace.
Unfortunately, I could only listen to half of the book as audio as my commuting/car time is being curtailed and I really want to finish the story. It's very compelling.
Am transferring to the print book for the second half.
I highly recommend the audio version.

Aug 13, 2016

McCullough recounts the public spectacle of the Wright Brothers' early flights and their business negotiations to market the invention. There is not much technical detail. The competition among inventors is covered lightly, not with the purpose of defending the Wrights' primacy or defining their place in the history of aviation. I did gain a better picture of the time and effort involved in figuring out how to fly.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further



Find it at SJCPL

To Top