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Dawn Over Kitty Hawk: The Novel of the Wright Brothers Hardcover – May 16 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (May 16 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765304716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765304711
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.4 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 708 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,772,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
She'd been dead these seven years, but the image of Susan Wright still loomed large in the Bishop's consciousness. Read the first page
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Format: Hardcover
As a pilot I have always been fascinated with the Wright's accomplishments and I had read several books about them but since it was the 100th anniversary of their accomplishments, I thought I would refresh my knowledge. At first, when I picked this up, I thought it wouldn't be a good read because it was historical fiction and I wanted facts, but I was glad I selected it. The author did an excellent job of fleshing out all the characters associated with the Wright's race to controlled flight. Plenty of research, especially of the Wright's bounty of letters written to colleagues and family about their exploits, gave the author a good feel for how the Wrights interacted with each other and the world, as well as filling out the story with facts. And instead of just reading dry facts, you really felt like you were there, experiencing the thrills, challenges and disappointments that they felt. And he wove together very well how the other major characters of the dawn of aviation (Langley, Chanute, Herring, Curtis to name a few) cooperated and (mostly) competed to be the first to fly. I believe the author kept the perfect balance between good story telling and historical accuracy.
The true measure of the story though, was that, even though I knew most of the facts already, and what the outcome was, I couldn't put the book down easily. It was a great read and I recommend it to anyone.
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Format: Hardcover
There is an old pilot's trick for looking at things...you're more likely to see something if you look slightly away from where you expect to see it, be it the fighter pilot looking for the speck of another aircraft, or the soaring pilot staring for the glint of wings of a circling sailplane in an uprising air current. Peripheral vision is more sensitive and by not looking directly at something, it paradoxically makes it easier to see. And this is the way Walter Boyne's Dawn over Kitty Hawk, the Novel of the Wright Brothers works. By looking at the Orville and Wilbur and their complex family in fictional form, he allows us to see a truly vivid portrait of their accomplishments, set in a fascinating age in American history.
A former Director of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Boyne weaves many of the major characters from the dawn of flight into a gripping tale that covers everything from the arrogance of much of the scientific establishment of the period to the byzantine wheeling and dealings of the robber baron financiers and their accomplices. Yet he never loses sight of the brilliance, hard work, determination and unbelievable courage that it took for the Wrights to launch forth into the unknown ocean of the air. Boyne's career as an Air Force pilot enables him to convey the feel and danger of those first flights in a way that puts the reader in the air with the Wrights as they struggle to understand the mysteries of flight. He takes the reader along, all the way from the first tentative gliding flights, through the crashes that led to mastery of control and power, ending in their triumphant flights in France and world acclaim.
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By John Joss on June 22 2003
Format: Hardcover
Whenever Walter Boyne sits down to write about aviation you simply know that the result will be enthralling, informative, and engaging in the most direct human ways. So it is with DAWN, one of the most important books about the Wrights ever written. Boyne brings all his experience, knowledge and writing skills to bear on the epochal Wrights and builds for the reader a new level of understanding about the men who dared so greatly and succeeded so admirably, who established the core of what has become a century later one of the world's most significant areas of endeavour. Along with the telephone, car and computer, the airplane has been one of the most powerful pivots of modern life, giving rise--for example--to today's biggest world industry, tourism. The Wrights risked their lives and committed their skills to make it possible, and this book tells us how.
It also manages to debunk many of the myths and half-truths that invade almost any history.
Isn't it curious how achievements seem almost obvious given the 20/20 hindsight of those of us who came afterwards? This book provides, through fiction meticulously researched and aligned with history, everything we should know factually about the Wrights, framed in a human perspective that gives the men juices and their achievements a more brilliant and accessible reality. One completes the book wishing that one could have been there to witness the events and meet the men, but Boyne brings us very close to those feelings.
Millions of men and women are the beneficiaries of the Wrights efforts, and of the aerospace industry for which they laid down the foundations. Anyone who has ever flown, or been carried in an airplane, or looked up to see those magnificent machines overhead, should read this book. They will not be disappointed.
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