George Wakefield

Other biographies have "soft-peddled" the Wrights' as pioneering "patent trolls", crippling the young American aviation industry. Others treat the Wrights as "heroes", forgetting their single minded obsession with patent suits allowing the French to take the lead in fixed-wing innovation, and hobbling American innovator Glenn Curtiss. How does Mr. McCullough handle these facts?

To answer questions about The Wright Brothers, please sign up.
Jason Hart In this book, patents and lawsuits are mentioned but little attention is given to the Wright's legal battles. This book mostly covers just their period of innovation from around 1900 to 1911.
Brian There is little focus on the suits. McCollough focuses on the dogged pursuit of flight by the brothers, while protecting their inventions and reputations..
Rebecca Abuscato I'm in the process of reading this book, but I've got to wonder, what's the point in having a patent if people don't have to follow it. The Wright's wanted royalties for their work - and not a crippling sum, either. I think it was just 5% per plane sold.

Other patent holders got paid for their inventions - why shouldn't the Wrights?

What I find most awful is Orville Wright's treatment of his sister Katherine. It's *that* that seriously destroys my respect for him. She dared to get married and move in with her husband, and he never spoke to her again - even when she was dying of pneumonia.

Carol Albert If you are interested in their struggle with patents, check out The Bishops Boys.
Joel He talks a bit about it, but not too much. McCullough takes the Wright's side. See page 252 and the quote from the 1910 Christian Science Monitor.
Image for The Wright Brothers
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more