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Birdmen: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies
 
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Birdmen: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies [Format Kindle]

Lawrence Goldstone

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“A meticulously researched account of the first few hectic, tangled years of aviation and the curious characters who pursued it . . . a worthy companion to Richard Holmes’s marvelous history of ballooning, Falling Upwards.”—Time

“Captivating and wonderfully presented . . . a fine book about these rival pioneers.”The Wall Street Journal
 
“[An] engaging history about the pioneers of flight . . . Goldstone clearly knows his subject well. He writes with the clarity and precision of someone who knows how much science he needs to make an innovation credible and how much narrative pacing he needs to make the reader care. . . . Birdmen is The Right Stuff of aviation’s pre–World War I era.”USA Today
 
“The daredevil scientists and engineers who forged the field of aeronautics spring vividly to life in Lawrence Goldstone’s history. . . . Goldstone never stints on the science in tracing the trio’s patent wars and struggles to monopolize the industry over a decade of dazzling innovation.”Nature

“[Birdmen is] the history of the development of an integral part of the modern world and a fascinating portrayal of how a group of men and women achieved a dream that had captivated humanity for centuries. Modern readers will be intrigued by his portrait of a world where flying was just becoming a reality and where seeing an airplane cutting through the sky overhead was as ethereal and unbelievable as seeing a ghost.”The Christian Science Monitor (“10 Best Books of May”)
 
“A fine study of aviation’s early days . . . [a] vivid story of invention, vendettas, derring-do, media hype and patent fights [with] modern resonance . . . The Wright brothers were giants, but they did not want anyone else to stand on their shoulders.”Financial Times
 
“A powerful story that contrasts soaring hopes with the anchors of ego and courtroom.”Kirkus Reviews

“A riveting narrative about the pioneering era of aeronautics in America and beyond . . . a well-written, thoroughly researched work that is sure to compel readers interested in history, aviation, and invention. Goldstone raises questions of enduring importance regarding innovation and the indefinite exertion of control over ideas that go public.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Superbly crafted . . . [with] fresh perspectives, rigorous analyses, comprehensible science, and a driving narrative.”Library Journal (starred review)

Birdmen is so much more than the story of man’s leap into the clouds. Exhilarating, exasperating, and inspiring in equal measure, the Wright brothers’ tale is a parable for modern times, told in fascinating detail and gripping prose by Lawrence Goldstone.”—Dr. Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire
 
“Meticulously researched and illuminating, Birdmen unveils the forgotten flyboys who gave America an invention to win wars, spread peace, and advance her destiny—air power.”—Adam Makos, internationally bestselling author of A Higher Call
 
“The history of human flight goes way beyond the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk. Lawrence Goldstone skillfully tells the rest of the story about the dreamers history has forgotten, and it’s a helluva story superbly told. Birdmen is a wondrous journey from takeoff to landing.”—Bill Griffeth, author of By Faith Alone

“With riveting prose, rich research, and an uncommon talent for weaving heroic and tragic tales of complex persons with accounts of invention and institutions, Lawrence Goldstone reveals the human dimensions of the birth of modern times in this exhilarating book.”—Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University, author of Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time
 
“Lawrence Goldstone offers a beautifully written account of the dawn of powered flight. It’s a great story of technical innovation, fierce competition, and powerful personalities. Goldstone provides a vibrant narrative of the Wright brothers battling Glenn Curtiss over government contracts, patents, and prizes, and describes issues pertinent to today’s business professionals and military personnel alike.”—Colonel John Abbatiello, PhD, USAF (Retired), author ofAnti-Submarine Warfare in World War I: British Naval Aviation and the Defeat of the U-Boats

“Goldstone provides a fresh, engaging, and compelling narrative that significantly enhances our understanding of one of the most remarkable stories in American history. He expertly documents the achievements and frailties of the Wright brothers as they pursued manned flight and attempted to profit from their breakthrough ideas. This well-written book is a pleasure to read.”—Tom Nicholas, William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

“The first aviators took to the skies with amazing courage and ingenuity, but, it turns out, also fighting like warbirds. None of these dogfights was was more epic and vital to flying’s future than the one waged by Wilbur Wright and Glenn Curtiss. Beautifully told, Goldstone’s book gives full vent to the action, while in the process weaving a compelling and sophisticated narrative of aviation’s earliest days.”—Robert O’Connell, author of The Ghosts of Cannae

Présentation de l'éditeur

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 nation’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 history—and take a fearsome toll on the men involved.
 
Birdmen sets the engrossing story of the Wrights’ 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 “Cap’t Tom” 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 dives—and best embodied the romance with death that fueled so many of aviation’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 flight’s wild early years and a surprising look at the personal clash that fueled America’s race to the skies.

Praise for Birdmen
 
“A meticulously researched account of the first few hectic, tangled years of aviation and the curious characters who pursued it . . . a worthy companion to Richard Holmes’s marvelous history of ballooning, Falling Upwards.”Time
 
“The daredevil scientists and engineers who forged the field of aeronautics spring vividly to life in Lawrence Goldstone’s history.”Nature
 
“The history of the development of an integral part of the modern world and a fascinating portrayal of how a group of men and women achieved a dream that had captivated humanity for centuries.”The Christian Science Monitor
 
“Captivating and wonderfully presented . . . a fine book about these rival pioneers.”The Wall Street Journal
 
“[A] vivid story of invention, vendettas, derring-do, media hype and patent fights [with] modern resonance.”Financial Times
 
“A powerful story that contrasts soaring hopes with the anchors of ego and courtroom.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“A riveting narrative about the pioneering era of aeronautics in America and beyond . . . Goldstone raises questions of enduring importance regarding innovation and the indefinite exertion of control over ideas that go public.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)


From the Hardcover edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 6613 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 448 pages
  • Editeur : Ballantine Books (6 mai 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00GL3MGTI
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  93 commentaires
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating early aviation history comes to life 7 avril 2014
Par Q. Publius - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, home of Orville and Wilbur Wright, I knew the story of their aviation endeavors and I have visited the sites in Dayton where they worked (including their bicycle shop) and the Huffman Prairie where they tested their flying machine. But I was not that familiar with their patent legal battles with Glenn Curtiss, a motorcycle racer who became known for his innovative aircraft and whose name today is primarily associated with being an American aviation pioneer and founder of the US aircraft industry. This book deals with the early years of aviation, lives and inventions of the Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and also colorful personalities associated with the times such as Tom Baldwin, inventor of the parachute, John Moisant, the celebrated daredevil, Harriet Quimby, who became the first woman to fly across the English Channel and Lincoln Beachey who was known for his air stunts. The long legal battles between the Wright Brothers and Curtiss are adequately discussed. This well researched volume is a wonderful book depicting those wild early years of aviation and it has something for everyone interested in the topic of early 20th century history, aviation and invention. Highly recommended.
25 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 So So Much Here 6 mars 2014
Par Richard A. Mitchell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
If you get through this book you must really really love aviation. The book started with so much promise but then got bogged down in too much detail. Once the Wrights got up into the air, virtually every flight and aviator was chronicled for the first several years of flying. Not only are the details of the flights given, but every corporate structure is examined and every organizational facet of every exhibit provided. It just got too much.

There are some very good aspects. The analysis of the early development was captivating. In a truly different world, inventors and aviation enthusiasts shared information - until the Wright brothers. That is another captivating aspect of the book. The brothers, particularly Wilbur, were terribly litigious and protective of everything about their planes. They early on filed patents and then spent years and countless dollars defending them on weak legal grounds. This alienated virtually everyone else in the field.

There is a lot of good information in this book. Unfortunately, it got bogged way down in details. I found myself skimming (do we really need several pages of the theatrical bio of one of the first female pilots?) and then losing interest, then flipping through looking for some pearls of interest. For enthusiasts, this is the mother lode. For the casual history buff, this is too much.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Detailed history of the early days of human flight 3 avril 2014
Par Edward Durney - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Birdmen by Lawrence Goldstone gives us a detailed history of the Wright Brothers and the early days of human flight. And I mean very detailed. In fact, probably for many readers, too much detail. Keeping track of all the characters described can distract from the story. But for me, having read different histories of that era, that level of detail was fine.

Lawrence Goldstone focuses on the "battle to control the skies" that was fought between the Wright Brothers and Glenn Curtiss. After the Wright Brothers flew their historic plane on Kitty Hawk, they went into stealth mode to try to sell their technology, relying on their landmark patent to give them a monopoly on flight. The problem was that as the Wright Brothers shifted their focus from flight to the patent fight, their unimproved technology became dated and their lawsuits hampered their competitors like Glenn Curtiss from making improvements as well.

The upshot was that the United States got left behind in the aviation industry. In fact, when airplanes took to the skies over the battlefields of World War I, the airplanes were made by Germany, France and Great Britain. None were of American design and none, with a minor exception, were of American manufacture. The blame for that shameful showing lies, it seems, squarely on Wilbur Wright's shoulders, whose overwrought overwork in the patent wars cost him his life (according to his sister Katherine).

In telling that basic story, though, Lawrence Goldstone gives the stage to many other characters as well. That's where the book has its weaknesses. The story line jumps around a lot. Indeed, at one point in the story, Wilbur Wright dies, but then a few pages later we are back hearing about when he was alive. People come in and out of the story at odd moments. If read as a narrative work, from first page to last, Birdmen does not read very well. Too jumpy, too busy, and too detailed.

I liked the book best by jumping around myself. I didn't read it from cover to cover, but dipped in here and there. Eventually I read it all, but it worked fine for me to read the stories out of sequence, since they are largely self-contained.

Nothing in Birdmen surprised me. Many of the stories were new to me, but those that were new were minor. Everything major I already knew. Still, I've never seen a book like this one that blends factual history with narrative history in quite this way. I liked the result. Hope you do too.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Barnstorming and legal wrangling (3.5 stars) 13 mai 2014
Par J. Green - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
The Wright brother's flight at Kitty Hawk was a monumental triumph. Wilbur's (and Orville's) genius at solving the problem that had stumped so many others for so long was truly remarkable. Unfortunately, it was also the beginning of his legal battles as he sought to patent and monopolize the invention with a broad "pioneering patent" that would have required licensing fees of all those who soared on his coattails. And even though Glenn Curtiss soon improved upon the methods of control (developing many of the improvements that are still in use today), he became an especially hated rival and target of the Wright's attacks. And the legal storm that erupted cast a constant shadow over the aeronautical industry when the public's thirst for air shows and events was at it's highest, making stars of the daredevils in the barnstorming circuit (really, most of them just wanted to see crashes). And it is widely felt that his focus on protecting his patents that caused his early death.

This is an interesting chronicle of the early years of aviation, from Kitty Hawk through the first World War. The Wrights and Curtiss are profiled, along with many other prominent but largely forgotten individuals: visionaries who put their faith in balloons such as Thomas Baldwin; scoundrels like Augustus Herring, who mostly made their fortune by deception; and daredevils such as Lincoln Beachy, who thrilled audiences with his death-defying stunts (as well as his own death) are included in this wide-reaching history.

While it's an interesting chronicle, I felt it suffered from a too-wide reach of history. Curtiss never became more than a cardboard figure in the history for me, despite his amazingly prominent role in nearly everything. The Wrights are generally cast as greedy villains who eschewed further development in favor of making "lawsuit[s] as a feature of [their] general business." And this serves to make it a pretty unpleasant read - not to say it's not true (and I found his conclusions very insightful - but slogging through the legal wrangling just didn't make for compelling or enjoyable reading. I'm not saying exposing the ugly truth isn't reasonable (and I'm not questioning Goldstone's facts or motives), just that I found it distastefully enlightening and a bit burdensome at nearly 400 pages.
7 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Hung Up in Court 4 mai 2014
Par L. M Young - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
At the turn of the century, not only the Wright brothers dreamt of the sky. From Otto Lillenthal and his wings to Octave Chanute, Augustus Herring, Samuel Langley, Louis Bleriot, and the man the Wrights considered their greatest rival, Glenn Curtiss, men on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean wrestled with the problem of heavier-than-air travel. BIRDMEN chronicles the steps—and often mis-steps—in the efforts to fly.

I have to be honest; it's my husband who's the aviation buff, but I've visited so many aviation museums with him I've taken a liking to the early aspects of aviation, including ballooning and the career of the Wright brothers. I thought this book would be more enjoyable than it was; it's a very knowledgeable, but I also found it very dry, especially the parts devoted to the Wright brothers' efforts to slap lawsuits on anyone who seemed to be copying their patented wing-warping innovation. The book is at its best when it chronicles the groundbreaking flights and the dismal failures, the air races, and the structural innovations. The legal aspects are otherwise rather tedious.
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