This is an updated version of my book review in honor of Mr. McCullough, who died yesterday at 89. He is the finest biographer I have read. I discovered today that beyond his fine written works; he narrated Ken Burns’ unforgettable breakthrough documentary on the Civil War.
What a story. Orville and Wilbur were so driven they spent both their lives single and childless. They had enormous intellectual curiosity, keen judgement and great courage.
Prior to their 1903 successful flight, others had many failed attempts to fly similar vehicles. David McCullough seems to attribute much of the Wrights’ success to their balanced judgement.
McCullough never diminished their daring attitudes but noted its softening with an eye to safety. For example, they performed test flights over soft sand dunes.
The author’s prose is rich and absorbing. The lives of the Wright brothers fascinated him. David’s enthusiasm is contagious as one reads his prose. I have read a lot of his historical biographies, some of which have won the Pulitzer. I consider this book McCullough’s “finest hour.” For me, it was a fascinating read.
David, our loss saddens us today. But you will be long remembered in your superb biographical work.
H. Robert Rubin, a best-selling, Amazon writer and author of Look Backward Angel, How Did I Get Through This? Please Save the Third Dance for Me (memoirs) and The Bloom is on the Rose (novelette), all available on Amazon.