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. With a narrative as propulsive as its subject, Drive! plunges us headlong into a time unlike any in history, when manic innovation and consumerist zeal coalesced to forever change the way people got from one place to another.
Wilbur and Orville Wright are two of the greatest innovators in history, and together they solved the centuries-old riddle of powered, heavier-than-air flight. Glenn Hammond Curtiss was the most talented machinist of his day; he first became the fastest man alive when he perfected the motorcycle, then turned his eyes toward the skies to become the fastest man aloft. But between the Wrights and Curtiss bloomed a poisonous rivalry and a patent war so powerful that it shaped aviation in its early years and drove one of the three men to his grave.
Aviator Lincoln Beachey broke countless records: He looped-the-loop, flew upside down and in corkscrews, and was the first to pull his aircraft out of what was a typically fatal tailspin. As Beachey and other aviators took to the skies in death-defying acts in the early 20th century, these innovative daredevils not only wowed crowds but also redefined the frontiers of powered flight.
Paris, 1534. A student at the Catholic Collge de Montaigu, serving as a courier for the Inquisition, is murdered by members of an extreme Lutheran sect for the packet of letters he is carrying. His friend and fellow classmate Amaury de Faverges, the illegitimate son of the Duke of Savoy and an expert in astronomy and natural science, is recruited as his replacement and promised a decree of legitimacy if he can uncover the secret that threatens to overturn Catholicism and the reign of Franois I.
"At the edge of change"
In the morgue of a Philadelphia hospital, a group of physicians open a coffin and uncover the corpse of a beautiful young woman. What they see takes their breath away. Within days, one of them strongly suspects that he knows the woman's identity: and the horrifying events that led to her death.
In the waning days of his presidency, in January 1801, John Adams made some historic appointments to preserve his Federalist legacy. Foremost among them, he named his secretary of state, John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court-neither of them anticipating that Marshall would soon need to decide the most crucial case in Supreme Court history-Marbury vs. Madison.
"Read this book, but don't listen to it"
In the following years following the Civil War, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery; the 14th conferred citizenship and equal protection under the law to white and black; and the 15th gave black American males the right to vote. In 1875, the most comprehensive civil rights legislation in the nation's history granted all Americans "the full and equal enjoyment" of public accommodations. Just eight years later, the Supreme Court, by an 8-1 vote....
In the morgue of a Philadelphia hospital, a group of physicians open a coffin and uncover the corpse of a beautiful young woman. What they see takes their breath away. Within days, one of them strongly suspects that he knows the woman's identity - and the horrifying events that led to her death.