The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies
On Sale: May 6, 2014
Hardcover / e-Book
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From acclaimed historian Lawrence Goldstone comes a
thrilling narrative of courage, determination, and
competition: the story of the intense rivalry that fueled
the rise of American aviation.
The feud between this nationâ€™s great air pioneers, the
Wright brothers and Glenn Curtiss, was a collision of
unyielding and profoundly American personalities. On one
side, a pair of tenacious siblings who together had solved
the centuries-old riddle of powered, heavier-than-air
flight. On the other, an audacious motorcycle racer whose
innovative aircraft became synonymous in the public mind
with death-defying stunts. For more than a decade, they
battled each other in court, at air shows, and in the
newspapers. The outcome of this contest of wills would shape
the course of aviation historyâ€”and take a fearsome toll on
the men involved.
the engrossing story of the Wrightsâ€™ war with Curtiss
against the thrilling backdrop of the early years of manned
flight, and is rich with period detail and larger-than-life
personalities: Thomas Scott Baldwin, or â€śCapâ€™t Tomâ€ť as he
styled himself, who invented the parachute and almost
convinced the world that balloons were the future of
aviation; John Moisant, the dapper daredevil who took to the
skies after three failed attempts to overthrow the
government of El Salvador, then quickly emerged as a
celebrity flyer; and Harriet Quimby, the statuesque
silent-film beauty who became the first woman to fly across
the English Channel. And then there is Lincoln Beachey,
perhaps the greatest aviator who ever lived, who dazzled
crowds with an array of trademark twists and divesâ€”and best
embodied the romance with death that fueled so many of
aviationâ€™s earliest heroes.
A dramatic story
of unimaginable bravery in the air and brutal competition on
the ground, Birdmen is at once a thrill ride through
flightâ€™s wild early years and a surprising look at the
personal clash that fueled Americaâ€™s race to the skies.
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