The award-winning author of Lefty explores the life-risking rivalry between the Wright Brothers and machinist Glenn Hammond Curtiss, assessing how their patent war shaped early aviation and ultimately cost one of the men his life. 15,000 first printing.
Author: Lawrence Goldstone
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2014-05-06
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.
A classic biography returns to print after 60 years! Although the Wright Brothers are remembered for performing the first human flight, Glenn Curtiss stands as the most important aviator in American history. Like his friend Alexander Graham Bell, Curtiss was a master inventor as well as a daredevil. He won the first airplane race in history (the 1909 Gordon Bennett Cup), and he was the first pilot to take off from and land an airplane on the deck of a ship. He invented the twin flying boat, which became a mainstay for the Allies during the First World War, and his NC-4 Flying Boat performed the first transatlantic flight in 1919—eight years before Charles Lindbergh's flight. Curtiss planes eventually trained 95 percent of all American pilots in the first half of the 20th century. Fans of aviation, history and compelling biographies of famous Americans such as Howard Hughes will be delighted to read about Glenn Curtiss.
Author: William Trimble
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Release Date: 2013-07-10
In this biography, William F. Trimble examines the pioneering work of Glenn Curtiss and his role in the origins of aviation in the U.S. Navy in the years up to and through World War I. A self-taught mechanic and inventor, Curtiss was a key figure in the development of the airplane during the early part of the century and his contributions to aviation are well known. This book s careful examination of his partnership with the Navy breaks new ground in revealing significant new details of his contributions. Curtiss s links to the Navy came as result of aviation advocates within the Navy, chief among them Captain Washington I. Chambers, who recognized that the Navy had special requirements for airplanes and their operations, and for aviators and their training. Curtiss helped meet the special requirements of the service for aircraft, particularly those with the potential for operating with naval vessels at sea or in conducting long-distance flights over water. He also was instrumental in training the first naval aviators. Curtiss and the Navy continued their collaboration through World War I, reaching a climax in 1919 with the first transatlantic flight of the famed Navy-Curtiss NC flying boat. This book addresses the broader implications of the Curtiss-Navy collaboration in the context of the longstanding trend of government-private cooperation in the introduction and development of new technologies. It also explores the interactive dynamics of weapons procurement and technological change within a large and entrenched bureaucracy and helps lay to rest the persistent myth that the Navy resisted the introduction of aviation
Unlocking the Sky tells the extraordinary tale of the race to design, refine, and manufacture a manned flying machine, a race that took place in the air, on the ground, and in the courtrooms of America. While the Wright brothers threw a veil of secrecy over their flying machine, Glenn Hammond Curtiss -- perhaps the greatest aviator and aeronautical inventor of all time -- freely exchanged information with engineers in America and abroad, resulting in his famous airplane, the June Bug, which made the first ever public flight in America. Fiercely jealous, the Wright brothers took to the courts to keep Curtiss and his airplane out of the sky and off the market. Ultimately, however, it was Curtiss's innovations and designs, not the Wright brothers', that served as the model for the modern airplane.
In the tradition of Caleb Carr’s The Alienist and Matthew Pearl’s The Dante Club, this mesmerizing forensic thriller thrusts the reader into the operating rooms, drawing rooms, and back alleys of 1889 Philadelphia, as a doctor grapples with the principles of scientific process to track a daring killer. In the morgue of a Philadelphia hospital, physicians uncover the corpse of a beautiful young woman. What they see takes their breath away. Within days, one doctor, Ephraim Carroll, strongly suspects that he knows the woman’s identity. . .and the horrifying events that led to her death. But in this richly atmospheric debut novel – an ingenious blend of history, suspense, and early forensic science – the most compelling chapter is yet to come, as the young doctor is plunged into a maze of murder, secrets, and unimaginable crimes. Peopled with vibrant real-life characters such as Canadian William Osler, hailed as the Father of Modern Medicine; famed surgeon William Stewart Halsted, who performed the first emergency blood transfusion and invented surgical gloves; and the controversial painter Thomas Eakins, The Anatomy of Deception brings to life a little-known and exciting turning-point in American medical history, when ignorant butchery gave way to intelligent surgery–and a young doctor is forced to confront an agonizing moral choice between exposing a killer, undoing a wrong, and, quite possibly, protecting the future of medicine itself. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: James Tobin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-06-12
James Tobin, award-winning author of Ernie Pyle's War and The Man He Became, has penned the definitive account of the inspiring and impassioned race between the Wright brothers and their primary rival Samuel Langley across ten years and two continents to conquer the air. For years, Wilbur Wright and his younger brother, Orville, experimented in obscurity, supported only by their exceptional family. Meanwhile, the world watched as Samuel Langley, armed with a contract from the US War Department and all the resources of the Smithsonian Institution, sought to create the first manned flying machine. But while Langley saw flight as a problem of power, the Wrights saw a problem of balance. Thus their machines took two very different paths—Langley’s toward oblivion, the Wrights’ toward the heavens—though not before facing countless other obstacles. With a historian’s accuracy and a novelist’s eye, Tobin has captured an extraordinary moment in history. To Conquer the Air is itself a heroic achievement.
Author: Lawrence Goldstone
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2007-12-18
Genre: Family & Relationships
“Books are like puzzles,” write Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone. “The author’s ideas are hidden, and it is up to all of us to figure them out.” In this indispensable reading companion, the Goldstones–noted parent-child book club experts–encourage grownups and young readers alike to adopt an approach that will unlock the magic and power of reading. With the Goldstones help, parents can inspire kids’ lifelong love of reading by teaching them how to unlock a book’s hidden meaning. Featuring fun and incisive discussions of numerous children’s classics, this dynamic guide highlights key elements–theme, setting, character, point of view, climax, and conflict–and paves the way for meaningful conversations between parents and children. “Best of all,” the Goldstones note, “you don’t need an advanced degree in English literature or forty hours a week of free time to effectively discuss a book with your child. This isn’t Crime and Punishment, it’s Charlotte’s Web.” From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Lawrence Goldstone
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2016-05-17
From the acclaimed author of Birdmen comes a revelatory new history of the birth of the automobile, an illuminating and entertaining true tale of invention, competition, and the visionaries, hustlers, and swindlers who came together to transform the world. In 1900, the Automobile Club of America sponsored the nation’s first car show in New York’s Madison Square Garden. The event was a spectacular success, attracting seventy exhibitors and nearly fifty thousand visitors. Among the spectators was an obscure would-be automaker named Henry Ford, who walked the floor speaking with designers and engineers, trying to gauge public enthusiasm for what was then a revolutionary invention. His conclusion: the automobile was going to be a fixture in American society, both in the city and on the farm—and would make some people very rich. None, he decided, more than he. Drive! is the most complete account to date of the wild early days of the auto age. Lawrence Goldstone tells the fascinating story of how the internal combustion engine, a “theory looking for an application,” evolved into an innovation that would change history. Debunking many long-held myths along the way, Drive! shows that the creation of the automobile was not the work of one man, but very much a global effort. Long before anyone had heard of Henry Ford, men with names like Benz, Peugeot, Renault, and Daimler were building and marketing the world’s first cars. Goldstone breathes life into an extraordinary cast of characters: the inventors and engineers who crafted engines small enough to use on a “horseless carriage”; the financiers who risked everything for their visions; the first racers—daredevils who pushed rickety, untested vehicles to their limits; and such visionary lawyers as George Selden, who fought for and won the first patent for the gasoline-powered automobile. Lurking around every corner is Henry Ford, a brilliant innovator and an even better marketer, a tireless promoter of his products—and of himself. With a narrative as propulsive as its subject, Drive! plunges us headlong into a time unlike any in history, when near-manic innovation, competition, and consumerist zeal coalesced to change the way the world moved. Praise for Drive! “[A] marvelously told story . . . The author provides a terrific backdrop to the ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ era in which his story takes place. On display are lucky scoundrels and unlucky geniuses, hustlers, hacks, and daredevils galore. . . . Goldstone has written a book that beautifully captures the intertwined fates of these two ingenious pioneers.”—The Wall Street Journal “A wonderful, story-filled saga of the early days of the auto age . . . Readers will be swept up in his vivid re-creation of a bygone era. . . . ‘Horse Is Doomed,’ read one headline in 1895. This highly readable popular history tells why.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred reviews) “A splendid dissection of the Selden/Ford patent face-off and its place in automotive historiography, this work will be enjoyed by business, legal, transportation, social, and intellectual historians; general readers; and all libraries.”—Library Journal (starred review) “This book contains the great names in automotive history—the Dodge brothers, Barney Oldfield, all the French (they seemed, until Ford, to lead the Americans in development of the vehicle)—and it is fascinating. . . . An engaging new take on the history of technological innovation.”—Booklist From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Lawrence Goldstone
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Release Date: 2017-06-06
The controversial history of the attack submarine—and the story of its colorful creator, John Philip Holland—that reveals how this imaginative invention changed the face of modern warfare. From Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to The Hunt for Red October, readers the world over have demonstrated an enduring fascination with travel under the sea. Yet the riveting story behind the invention of the submarine—an epic saga of genius, persistence, ruthlessness, and deceit—is almost completely unknown. Like Henry Ford and the Wright brothers, John Philip Holland was completely self-taught, a brilliant man raised in humble circumstances, earning his living as a schoolteacher and choirmaster. But all the while he was obsessed with creating a machine that could successfully cruise beneath the waves. His struggle to unlock the mystery behind controlled undersea navigation would take three decades, during which he endured skepticism, disappointment, and betrayal. But his indestructible belief in himself and his ideas led him to finally succeed where so many others had failed. Going Deep is a vivid chronicle of the fierce battles not only under the water, but also in the back rooms of Wall Street and the committee rooms of Congress. A rousing adventure—surrounded by an atmosphere of corruption and greed—at its heart this a story of bravery, passion, and the unbreakable determination to succeed against long odds.
Author: Thomas Kessner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2010-07-20
In late May 1927 an inexperienced and unassuming 25-year-old Air Mail pilot from rural Minnesota stunned the world by making the first non-stop transatlantic flight. A spectacular feat of individual daring and collective technological accomplishment, Charles Lindbergh's flight from New York to Paris ushered in America's age of commercial aviation. In The Flight of the Century, Thomas Kessner takes a fresh look at one of America's greatest moments, explaining how what was essentially a publicity stunt became a turning point in history. He vividly recreates the flight itself and the euphoric reaction to it on both sides of the Atlantic, and argues that Lindbergh's amazing feat occurred just when the world--still struggling with the disillusionment of WWI--desperately needed a hero to restore a sense of optimism and innocence. Kessner also shows how new forms of mass media made Lindbergh into the most famous international celebrity of his time, casting him in the role of a humble yet dashing American hero of rural origins and traditional values. Much has been made of Lindbergh's personal integrity and his refusal to cash in on his fame. But Kessner reveals that Lindbergh was closely allied with, and managed by, a group of powerful businessmen--Harry Guggenheim, Dwight Morrow, and Henry Breckenridge chief among them--who sought to exploit aviation for mass transport and massive profits. Their efforts paid off as commercial air traffic soared from 6,000 passengers in 1926 to 173,000 passengers in 1929. Kessner's book is the first to fully explore Lindbergh's central role in promoting the airline industry--the rise of which has influenced everything from where we live to how we wage war and do business. The Flight of the Century sheds new light on one of America's fascinatingly enigmatic heroes and most transformative moments.
One of the world's most famous business leaders (and a well-known avian fanatic) explores the pioneers of flight. Bestselling author and billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has always been obsessed with the skies. To promote a new Virgin Airlines route, he became the first man to water ski behind a blimp. His Virgin Galactic venture will soon offer ordinary people the opportunity to experience spaceflight aboard the first commercial spaceliner, SpaceShipTwo. In Reach for the Skies, Branson examines the history of aviation over the last two hundred years, putting the spotlight on trailblazers such as: *Tony Jannus, who made the first ever commercial flight over Tampa Bay, Florida, in 1914. *Leo Valentin, the "bird man" who jumped from 9,000 feet wearing a pair of wooden wings in the 1950s. *Steve Fossett, who broke 130 world records in planes, balloons, and airships. The pioneers of flight-not just the world-famous Wright Brothers, but also lesser known visionaries and dreamers-made it possible for any of us with the desire and the commitment to reach for the skies ourselves.