Little Rock, AR, USA
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  • To Conquer the Air

  • The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight
  • By: James Tobin
  • Narrated by: Boyd Gaines
  • Length: 6 hrs and 1 min
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 60
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

To Conquer the Air is a hero's tale of overcoming obstacles within and without that plumbs the depths of creativity and character. With a historian's accuracy and a novelist's eye, Tobin has captured the interplay of remarkable personalities at an extraordinary moment in our history. In the centennial year of human flight, To Conquer the Air is itself a heroic achievement.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A great story

  • By Jere on 05-30-03

A great story

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-30-03

To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight, is an insightful, well-researched narrative of the development of heavier-than-air flight by James Towbin. This novel is essentially the story of the Wright brothers and their competition, told in chronological order with scenes switching back and forth between the Wrights and other aviation pioneers to show the tension of the competition in the race to fly. The irony involved creates a surprising amount of suspense for what is essentially a historical novel. Wilbur Wright?s use of the scientific method to develop models and prototypes is impressive. This began with aerodynamic design and control of gliders with the brothers concentrating on flight control and design, while others were more concerned with design and power. Especially insightful was their development of a primitive wind tunnel that they used to test and modify their designs. The family story is included to add to realism to the description of what these pioneers were experiencing at a time when they were making history. The narrator, Boyd Gaines, does a fine job reading the abridged version of the book, adroitly capturing the foreign and regional accents. I was so thoroughly taken with the story that I never lost interest during the six hours and ten minutes duration of the program. This four-star novel lets one sit back, relax, and experience an important time in American history.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful