• Birdmen

  • The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies
  • By: Lawrence Goldstone
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Fried
  • Length: 14 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (96 ratings)

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Birdmen

By: Lawrence Goldstone
Narrated by: Jonathan Fried
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Publisher's Summary

Wilbur and Orville Wright are two of the greatest innovators in history, and together they solved the centuries-old riddle of powered, heavier-than-air flight. Glenn Hammond Curtiss was the most talented machinist of his day; he first became the fastest man alive when he perfected the motorcycle, then turned his eyes toward the skies to become the fastest man aloft. But between the Wrights and Curtiss bloomed a poisonous rivalry and a patent war so powerful that it shaped aviation in its early years and drove one of the three men to his grave. Birdmen is at once a thrilling ride through flight's wild early years and a surprising look at the battle that defined an era of American innovation.

Lawrence Goldstone is the author or co-author of 14 books of fiction and nonfiction, most recently LEFTY: An American Odyssey. His work has been profiled in The New York Times, The Toronto Star, Salon, and Slate, among others. He lives on Long Island with his wife and daughter.

©2014 Lawrence Goldstone (P)2014 Recorded Books

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Exceptional

Very well researched and written. It will make one reexamine previously held beliefs about early aviation and those who contributed the most to its development.

3 people found this helpful

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Glad I Chose This Book

While looking for a biography of the Wright brothers, I stumbled on this title and thought I would give it a try. It goes well beyond its title to include much about other early aviators. I think I enjoyed this even more than a book that is mostly about the Wrights. Previously, I read a book that gave a Pollyanna account of the Wrights; this book seems to tell a more genuine story about them. I was surprised at how interested I became in early aviation history while listening to this. It's written in such a way that someone like me, who knows next to nothing about aviation, can understand, but I think it wouldn't be too elementary for aviators to enjoy, too.

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Fantastic new angle on the birth of aviation.

First- I read David McCullough’s “Wright Brothers” in which David put the Wright’s on an impossibly high pedestal. I wanted to believe this view, but something told me there was more to the story, as there usually is.

Birdmen was the other side of this coin. Although throughout the book I felt the author simply took the opposing view, in the end I feel he did an excellent job of giving a “lay of the land”. The Wright’s were very, very human.

As a pilot I can’t recommend this book enough. The narration is simply put… Horrible! BUT if you really want to know what the first decade of flight looked like, this book is an excellent start. I do also recommend “Wright Brothers” but listen with your eyes wide open!