Birdmen—history of early aviation, the Wrights and Curtiss better than any other
Birdmen: the Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies, Lawrence Goldstone, 2015, ISBN 978-0-345-53805-5, 428 pp.
Birdmen also includes other significant inventors, charlatans and pioneering airmen as well as air women of the early 1900s. Names which have slipped into the shadows of history but collectively, along with the Wrights and Curtiss, development into a tale laden with drama, surprising twists, excitement and tragedy.
Where else can the reader get a visceral description of the actual taste of the drink Gin Fizz (which sponsored an incredibly popular cross-country flight) or the story of the aviator who first performed 1000 loops and had the aeronautical industry come to learn of ductility.
Yes, in Birdmen, Goldstone has given the reader the best and most objective understanding of the Wright Brothers:Curtiss controversy and has also explained early powered (as another bonus balloon flight) aviation history into a digestible form.
This is the book to get—bar none—for aviation’s early history and the best understand of the Wright Brothers as well as Glenn Curtiss accomplishments, poor decisions, brilliant decisions and lives. If the reader wants to become polarized into one position or the other—they should get another book 🙂