Midwest Book Review of Wright Brothers Wrong Story

Feb 1, 2019 by


Wright Brothers, Wrong Story
William Hazelgrove
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633884588, $24.00, HC, 332pp, www.amazon.com

How could two misanthropic brothers who never left home, were high-school dropouts, and made a living as bicycle mechanics have figured out the secret of manned flight? “Wright Brothers, Wrong Story: How Wilbur Wright Solved the Problem of Manned Flight” by William Hazelgrove is new and detailed history of the Wright brothers’ monumental accomplishment focuses on their early years of trial and error at Kitty Hawk (1900-1903) and Orville Wright’s epic fight with the Smithsonian Institute and Glenn Curtis. Hazelgrove makes a convincing case that it was Wilbur Wright who designed the first successful airplane, not Orville. He shows that, while Orville’s role was important, he generally followed his brother’s lead and assisted with the mechanical details to make Wilbur’s vision a reality. Combing through original archives and family letters, Hazelgrove reveals the differences in the brothers’ personalities and abilities. He examines how the Wright brothers myth was born when Wilbur Wright died early and left his brother to write their history with personal friend John Kelly. Exceptionally well researched, written, and presented, “Wright Brothers, Wrong Story” is impressively informed and informative, making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that “Wright Brothers, Wrong Story” is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

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Born in Richmond, Virginia, and carted back and forth between Virginia and Baltimore, I blame my rootless, restless personality on my father. He was and is a traveling salesman with a keen gift of gab, great wit, a ready joke, and could sell white tennis shoes to coal miners. [read more...]

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