Award-winning author James Tobin has at last penned the definitive account of the inspiring and impassioned race 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 U.S. 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.
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