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To conquer the air : the Wright Brothers and the great race for flight

Author: James Tobin
Publisher: New York : Free Press, ©2003.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"For some years I have been afflicted with the belief that flight is possible to man. My disease has increased in severity and I feel that it will soon cost me an increased amount of money if not my life." So wrote a quiet young Ohioan in 1900, one in an ancient line of men who had wanted to fly, men who wanted it passionately, fecklessly, hopelessly. But now, at the turn of the twentieth century, Wilbur Wright and  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Tobin, James, 1956-
To conquer the air.
New York : Free Press, c2003
(OCoLC)606935516
Named Person: Orville Wright; Wilbur Wright; Orville Wright; Wilbur (Ingenieur) Wright
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: James Tobin
ISBN: 0684856883 9780684856889 0743255364 9780743255363
OCLC Number: 51304121
Description: ix, 433 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Prologue: Decoration Day, 1899 --
"Edge of wonder" --
"Slight possibility" --
"Some practical experiments" --
"Truth and error intimately mixed" --
"Possibility of exactness" --
"Thousand glides" --
"Our turn to throw" --
Interlude --
"What hath God wrought?" --
"Clean air of the heavens" --
"Flying machine at anchor" --
"World of trouble" --
"Light on glory's plume" --
"Greatest courage and achievements" --
Epilogue --
Acknowledgments --
Notes --
Note on sources --
Index.
Responsibility: James Tobin.
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Based on extraordinary research in the rich archives of American aviation, and written by one of the nation's most gifted narrative historians, "To Conquer the Air" brings to life one of history's  Read more...

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David M. KennedyAuthor of "Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945," winner of the Pulitzer Prize James Tobin explains with meticulous clarity the mysteries of nature Read more...

 
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schema:description"Prologue: Decoration Day, 1899 -- "Edge of wonder" -- "Slight possibility" -- "Some practical experiments" -- "Truth and error intimately mixed" -- "Possibility of exactness" -- "Thousand glides" -- "Our turn to throw" -- Interlude -- "What hath God wrought?" -- "Clean air of the heavens" -- "Flying machine at anchor" -- "World of trouble" -- "Light on glory's plume" -- "Greatest courage and achievements" -- Epilogue -- Acknowledgments -- Notes -- Note on sources -- Index."@en
schema:description""For some years I have been afflicted with the belief that flight is possible to man. My disease has increased in severity and I feel that it will soon cost me an increased amount of money if not my life." So wrote a quiet young Ohioan in 1900, one in an ancient line of men who had wanted to fly, men who wanted it passionately, fecklessly, hopelessly. But now, at the turn of the twentieth century, Wilbur Wright and a scattered handful of other adventurers conceived a conviction that the dream lay at last within reach, and in a headlong race across ten years and two continents, they competed to conquer the air. James Tobin, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography, has at last given this inspiring story its definitive telling. For years Wright and his younger brother, Orville, experimented in utter obscurity, supported only by their exceptional family. Meanwhile, the world watched as the imperious Samuel Langley, armed with a rich contract from the U.S. War Department and all the resources of the Smithsonian Institution, sought to scale up his unmanned models to create the first manned flying machine. But while Langley became obsessed with flight as a problem of power, the Wrights grappled with it as a problem of balance. Thus their machines took two very different paths, his toward oblivion, theirs toward the heavens. As Tobin relates, the Wrights' 1903 triumph at Kitty Hawk, however hallowed in American lore, was ill-reported and disbelieved. So, while the two brothers struggled to transform their delicate contraption into a practical airplane, others moved to overtake them as the leading pioneers of flight. In France, rivals scoffed at the Wrights even as they rushed to imitate them. At home, the great inventor Alexander Graham Bell seized the fallen banner of his friend Langley and thrust it into the hands of a circle of young daredevils, urging them "to get into the air." From this group emerged the motorcyclist Glenn Curtiss, "fastest man in the world," whose aerial challenge to Wilbur Wright culminated in an unforgettable showdown over New York harbor. To Conquer the Air is a hero's tale of overcoming obstacles within and without that plumbs the depths of creativity and character. With a historian's accuracy and a novelist's eye, Tobin has captured the interplay of remarkable personalities at an extraordinary moment in our history, in the centennial year of human flight. To Conquer the Air is itself a heroic achievement. An award-winning historian offers a gripping narrative of the fierce competition on the centennial of the Wright Brothers' achievement."@en
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