David McCullough's 'The Wright Brothers' sells well, gets positive reviews

'The Wright Brothers' looks like another hit for the 'John Adams' and 'Truman' author. The book was released on May 5.

'The Wright Brothers' is by David McCullough.

“John Adams” writer David McCullough has scored another hit with his new book “The Wright Brothers.” 

“The Wright Brothers” was released on May 5 and, as the title implies, centers on brothers Orville and Wilbur and their fateful accomplishments in the world of flight as well as other components of their lives. Both the Monitor and Amazon selected “The Wright Brothers” as one of the best books to be released this month, with Monitor reviewer Danny Heitman calling it “typically engrossing.” Amazon editorial director Sara Nelson said of the title, “[It] get[s] into the humanity of the story ... who [the Wrights] were and what they were really about.”

Other publications also reviewed the book mostly positively, with John Carver Edwards of the University of Georgia Libraries writing for Library Journal that the book has “impeccable writing with historical rigor and strong character definition…. Highly recommended for academicians interested in the history of flight, transportation, or turn-of-the-century America; general readers.” Meanwhile, Kirkus Reviews called the book “fluently rendered [and] skillfully focused…. An educational and inspiring biography of seminal American innovators.”

Heitman, however, noted that "McCullough’s obvious affection for his subjects, a key part of his charm as an author, makes him less inclined to detail the darker aspects of the Wright family."

Publishers Weekly's reviewer had a similar complaint, finding that “[Wright’s] evident admiration for the Wrights leads him to soft-pedal their crasser side, like their epic patent lawsuits, which stymied American aviation for years. Still, McCullough's usual warm, evocative prose makes for an absorbing narrative; he conveys both the drama of the birth of flight and the homespun genius of America's golden age of innovation.”

The book is already selling well and is currently ranked at number four on the Barnes & Noble bestseller list and at number six on the bestseller list at Amazon.

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