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William Hazelgrove

Wright Brothers, Wrong Story: How Wilbur Wright Solved the Problem of Manned Flight

Prometheus Books

December 17, 2018 marked the 115th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ manned flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. It takes a bold author (and a lot of research) to challenge orthodoxy. Using letters, diaries and some inductive reasoning, Hazelgrove contends that the brothers’ accomplishment was not the result of an equal partnership. Rather, Wilbur did the grand thinking, theorizing and planning, defying received wisdom on flight to develop his own—successful—formula for controlled aviation.

 

Wilbur technically made the first flight, for only a few seconds; it was the second flight (12 seconds in length), made by Orville, that was photographed and is generally counted as the first. Wilbur died in 1912. Orville lived until 1948, telling an embellished version of the story to a biographer. Judge for yourself.

– Bruce Collier

 

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE – THE BEST BOOKS OF 2018

 

FICTION

Lou Berney, November Road

Stephen King, Elevation and The Outsider

Meg Gardiner, Into the Black Nowhere

Laura Lippman, Sunburn

Brad Meltzer, The Escape Artist

John Hart, The Hush

Rachel Kushner, The Mars Room

Michael Koryta, How It Happened

Scott Von Doviak, Charlesgate Confidential

Linwood Barclay, A Noise Downstairs

Karin Slaughter, Pieces of Her

James Lee Burke, Robicheaux

 

NONFICTION

Michelle McNamara, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

Robert Hilburn, Paul Simon: The Life

Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin, The Sun Does Shine

Dave Itzkoff, Robin

Eli Saslow, Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist

David Sedaris, Calypso

– Chris Manson

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