Start reading The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available
 

The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright [Kindle Edition]

Tom D. Crouch
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £15.99
Kindle Price: £15.19 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £0.80 (5%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £15.19  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £15.99  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description

The reissue of this definitive biography heralds the one-hundredth anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight.


Brilliant, self-trained engineers, the Wright brothers had a unique blend of native talent, character, and family experience that perfectly suited them to the task of invention but left them ill-prepared to face a world of skeptics, rivals, and officials. Using a treasure trove of Wright family correspondence and diaries, Tom Crouch skillfully weaves the story of the airplane's invention into the drama of a unique and unforgettable family. He shows us exactly how and why these two obscure bachelors from Dayton, Ohio, were able to succeed where so many better-trained, better-financed rivals had failed.

Product Description

Review

"Crouch interweaves family drama with the history of aviation in a riveting saga of ingenuity, competing claims, public adulation and technical innovation."

About the Author

Tom D. Crouch, author of The Bishop's Boys and A Dream of Wings, is senior curator of the aeronautics division at the National Air & Space Museum. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

Product details


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A stor of an amazing human achievement. 15 Jun. 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I've wanted to read Tom Crouch's book, The Bishop's Boys, ever since I visted Kitty Hawk, North Carolina for the first time while on vacation. I found the title intriguing. Even more intriguing was the idea that two parsonage children with little or no formal education beyond high school were responsible for the "world's first power-driven, heavier-than-air machine in which man made free, controlled, and sustained flight."
Mr. Crouch tells the tale in a way that does justice to both the men and the machine. By this I mean that neither overshadows the other. One comes to the end of the book convinced that the fates of both the men and the machine were inextricably intertwined. How this came to be is a story of wonder, some sadness, humor, and amazing human achievement.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars A very human account of a technical wonder 18 Oct. 1999
Format:Paperback
A truly unputdownable telling of one of the greatest events in history that, perhaps for the first time, gives a real sense of the men themselves within their historical and social context. A touching and celebratory book that will please both the experts and the ordinary folk who have managed to retain their sense of wonder about our world.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wright Biography! 31 Dec. 1999
By Douglas McIntyre - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For anyone really interested in the story of human flight, Tom Crouch's "The Bishop's Boys" is the book for you. Crouch has done a masterful job of telling the Wright's story, and what a story it is! Most legendary figures of history crumble when their lives are examined-- Wilbur and Orivlle Wright are more amazing the more you learn about them. Thanks to Crouch and "The Bishop's Boys", the entire story, warts and all, is finally put before the public in a well written, definitive, biography. I have studied and written about the Wright Brothers for years, and I always tell anyone who wants to learn more about these amazing brothers to read this book.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How was the Airplane "Really" invented? 18 Sept. 2000
By Olaf O. Storaasli - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this book, Tom Crouch culminates his exhaustive research on the history of manned flight. All the players (and would-be players) are included from the Wright Brothers viewpoint. Crouch carefully examines the involvement/viewpoints of Chanute, Beloit, Langley, Curtiss and a host of contemporaries from Kings to children with intricate details of the Wright family itself. It sets one back so well in time that one feels you are sitting in the same room with Wilbur, Orville and Milton, their father. One can even sense that Wilbur and Orville might differ on their view of important events (i.e. The Wrights might never have flown if Wilbur had not been knocked cold playing ice hockey near the Soldier's Home).
Milton's religious influence and the Wright family tradition is shown to have played a key role in shaping Wilbur's decision to do something meaningful with his life after giving up a likely education at Yale and career in the ministry in his Dad's footsteps as a result of the hockey accident.
To me the book has a happy and sad part:
The happy part (the first half) deals with Wright family, history, ideas, experiments, inventions and basically seeing how the brothers (particularly Wilbur) came up with all their ideas and diligently and painstakingly pursued them.
The sad part (the last half) deals with the agony felt by Wilbur (before his death) and Orville for the rest of his life fighting a multitude of court cases over what they viewed as clear patent infringements. Orville is viewed as extreme and difficult to get along with (according quotes from to Charles Lindberg).
Only after Orville's death and World War 2 did the Wrights force the Smithsonian to back down and recant many of their publications related Samuel P. Langley, Orville insisted were untrue. Finally, their 1903 "First Flight" aircraft was returned to the Smithsonian from the British Museum where Orville insisted it remain as a protest until the Smithsonian retracted their views. Such stong uncompromising right/wrong views of Orville and Wilbur are traced to the Bishop (father) in trying to uphold conservative values while their church was split do to relaxing traditional values. The Wright family tradition of honesty and integrity is evident from cover to cover.
This is an excellent read, and you'll be anxious to pursue reading numerous other Wright books and artifacts in museums cited at the end.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A stor of an amazing human achievement. 15 Jun. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've wanted to read Tom Crouch's book, The Bishop's Boys, ever since I visted Kitty Hawk, North Carolina for the first time while on vacation. I found the title intriguing. Even more intriguing was the idea that two parsonage children with little or no formal education beyond high school were responsible for the "world's first power-driven, heavier-than-air machine in which man made free, controlled, and sustained flight."
Mr. Crouch tells the tale in a way that does justice to both the men and the machine. By this I mean that neither overshadows the other. One comes to the end of the book convinced that the fates of both the men and the machine were inextricably intertwined. How this came to be is a story of wonder, some sadness, humor, and amazing human achievement.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In the end somewhat disappointing 5 Aug. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Tom Crouch does a wonderful job in bringing the story of the Wright brothers to life. He explains their social interactions, their different personality types and the family's ideals.
However when he starts to tell the story of the invention of the aeroplane (airplane) the disappointments mount. At this point the author could have focussed on the insightfulness and engineering brilliance of the Wright brothers. However the author seems unwilling or incapable of expressing how the Wright brothers were able to distil and redefine the ideas of their predecessors. The redefinition of Smeaton's coefficient, the choice of a dynamic approach to restore equilibrium, the experiments and formulae required to calculate the basic forces of flight and efficient propellor design are all given scant attention. The book's phobia of technical detail is epitomised by its reference at one stage to increasing the octane rating of the fuel to increase power. Unfortunately octane and its potential to produce greater power would not be understood until the '20s. The book then appears to have great difficulty in differentiating what the Wright brothers did in comparison with their rivals. Instead of demonstrating why wing warping was the basic concept behind all control systems in aeroplanes, the author resorts to bold assertions such as the Wright brothers were aware of ailerons and fully described them in their patent application. This is highly debatable and in my opinion WRONG! Furthermore any patent issue which may have gone against the Wrights is always described as a legal loophole and not given any further regard. Instead of defending the Wrights on their own merit the book seems to be compelled to detail feel good stories or nicknames of distant relatives and associates. The relevance of Orville's flying students' ancestors defeating the British (I'm assuming not single handedly as implied by the book) in the battle of Lake Erie in 1813 does seem somewhat irrelevent. I enjoyed the enthusiastic style of the writer, but in the end felt that the book was somewhat flat in conveying what the Wright brothers actually achieved on that historic December day in 1903.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit technical, but still interesting reading 27 Aug. 2000
By Tanja L. Walker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Tom Crouch does an excellent job in telling the readers not only about the lives of Wilbur and Orville Wright, but about what made them tick, as well. A large chunk of the beginning is devoted to the story of their parents, especially their father, Milton Wright. The father, a preacher and bishop in the United Brethern denomination, stuck to his guns about certain beliefs, even when they led to scisms and lawsuits. Knowing this helps explain to the readers why the brothers did some things, particularly regarding the patent lawsuits, that seem selfish or greedy. Crouch gives us a portrait of the two that neither puts them on pedestals or demeans them, but shows them as humans.
The one drawback, at least for readers more interested in people than in their inventions, was that some of the information regarding the early planes could get awfully technical at times. I understood most of it, but it was a struggle, and it slowed the pace somewhat. Unfortunately, you probably can't have a decent biography of the Wrights without this information, and some might even enjoy it.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category