Orville and Wilbur…..and David?!?

Last month my favorite non-fiction writer came out with his latest book. David McCullough’s newest is The Wright Brothers, who we all remember from grade school history class but actually know very little about.

McCullough is just the historian to dig up and present an enjoyable read on the lives and accomplishments of brothers Orville and Wilbur.

Tom Hanks has already secured the rights to produce a miniseries for HBO based on The Wright Brothers. Hanks did the same thing for McCullough’s pulitzer prize winning book John Adams, which starred Paul Giamatti as Adams and Laura Linney as his wife Abigail. Great mini-series, and even better book!

McCullough, along with writing several excellent books is also known as the narrator of the film Seabiscuit (2003) and several documentaries including Ken Burns’ The Civil War. He’s an amazing man that I look up to as a mentor.


I was hoping Mr. McCullough would do a book tour for The Wright Brothers but at 81 the historian will most likely stick close to home. One thing on my bucket list, a simple goal but would mean the world to me, is to shake hands with him. He and his book John Adams played no small part in my love of a good bio. I’ll continue to keep an eye on McCullough’s itinerary and pray he has many years ahead to present more stories of America’s past.

Anyway, I’ll be picking up a copy of The Wright Brothers as a welcome addition to my ‘to read’ book stack. I’m confidant it’ll be excellent both because of its subjects, Orville and Wilbur Wright, and McCullough’s writing style which is always inspiring.

I’m still hoping that some day our paths will cross. It’s not often we get to meet our heroes. Most of mine are great men and women of history long gone. It would be amazing to meet the man who is so talented at bringing those folks from the past to life on the pages of his books.

“History is not just beneficial to us. It is essential to us,” says David McCullough, “Reading—history, poetry, biographies, fiction, and more—is vital to an educated citizenry.”


About VocareMentor

Walk with the wise and become wise - Prov. 13:20 A lot of my blog comes out of the way I grew up. My parents divorced when I was 6 years old and I didn’t see much of my father. I had no understanding of how the lack of his presence in my life affected every choice I made as I grew up. Much of my adult life has been attempting to sort things out and catch up. Thus, what you’ll find on my blog are musings, thoughts, wisdom and ideas from history and pop culture. Themes: mentors, father/son, male/female, self-discovery, courage, stepping up, friendship and more.
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6 Responses to Orville and Wilbur…..and David?!?

  1. McCoullough gives historical events and people a breath of life, makes them real. I enjoy his books.

  2. McCullough’s writings is not only enjoyable, but I learn so much. Haven’t had the opportunity for McCullogh’s new book yet; I am sure it is awesome.

    Question: ever heard of Jeff Shaara, author of historical fiction? Very good indeed…

    • VocareMentor says:

      No, I don’t recognize the name but I’m always looking for highly recommended books and authors. As I’ve often quoted Frank Zappa, “So many books, so little time.” I will check Shaara out. Thank you. – Do you have a particular book in mind?

  3. VocareMentor says:

    I agree completely. I was never really a reader of biographies until a good friend loaned me McCullough’s “John Adams” some 10 years ago or so. I’ve blogged about my history of poor reading skills and my accepting the 750 page tome was a challenge in itself. But it began a love affair with good bios.

  4. Dave Astor says:

    Excellent piece, VocareMentor. I’ve also read David McCullough’s life of John Adams, and I agree that it’s about as good as a biography gets. (Having read that book deepened my appreciation of seeing Adams’ Massachusetts home several years later.)

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