Engineering & Transportation
The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $21.95
  • Save: $6.95 (32%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Some wear on covers; pages clean & unmarked!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright Paperback – April 17, 2003


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.00
$8.49 $0.01
Best%20Books%20of%202014


Frequently Bought Together

The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright + How We Invented the Airplane: An Illustrated History (Dover Transportation) + The Wright Brothers: A Biography (Dover Transportation)
Price for all three: $34.56

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (April 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039330695X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393306958
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Milton Wright, father of Wilbur and Orville, was an itinerant churchman embroiled in controversies who bequeathed to his sons firmness of purpose, stubborn independence and overweening pride, qualities that were to inform their lives. After the bachelor brothers perfected the world's first practical airplane, their extreme secretiveness and haughty manner alienated potential business partners. Determined to protect their invention, the duo became litigious, undertaking a string of patent-infringement lawsuits that consumed their energies and very possibly contributed to Wilbur's death at age 45 in 1912. Orville, who finally reaped a fortune from the sale of the Wright Company, spent his last years tinkering on small-scale projects. He died in 1948. Crouch ( A Dream of Wings ) interweaves family drama with the history of aviation in a riveting saga of ingenuity, competing claims, public adulation and technical innovation. More than 10 years in the writing, with benefit of cooperation from the Wright family, this comprehensive biography throws light as well on Will and Orv's long-suffering sister Katherine, head of the household (their mother died in 1889), who held the family together while their father crisscrossed the country. The book also contains fresh glimpses of rival pioneers--American, French, German--and their magnificent flying machines. There have been a number of fine biographies of the Wright brothers; this one ranks with the best. Photos. BOMC selection. ( June ).
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This book is both a biography of these great American heroes and a history of early aviation. Crouch discusses the Wrights' early life in Dayton, which was dominated by their father, the controversial Bishop Wright. He provides a detailed account of the development of the airplane, with its problems of aerodynamics, control surfaces, and propellers. The Wrights' business efforts to capitalize on their technology--fraught with struggles for patents, disputes over contracts, and feuds with the Curtiss corporation--is particularly enlightening. A well-researched book which uses often overlooked original source material, this will have wide interest for general readers and those interested in flying history. BOMC selection.
- William A. McIntyre, New Hampshire Vocational-Technical Coll. Lib., Nashua
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

This book is fabulous and I would reccomend it to anyone iterested in flight!
"holmesdoggydoggy"
For someone who loves the story of aviation's beginnings - The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright is a great book.
HomeOwner
Crouch has done a masterful job of telling the Wright's story, and what a story it is!
Douglas McIntyre

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Douglas McIntyre on December 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
For anyone really interested in the story of human flight, Tom Crouch's "The Bishop's Boys" is the book for you. Crouch has done a masterful job of telling the Wright's story, and what a story it is! Most legendary figures of history crumble when their lives are examined-- Wilbur and Orivlle Wright are more amazing the more you learn about them. Thanks to Crouch and "The Bishop's Boys", the entire story, warts and all, is finally put before the public in a well written, definitive, biography. I have studied and written about the Wright Brothers for years, and I always tell anyone who wants to learn more about these amazing brothers to read this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Olaf O. Storaasli on September 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
In this book, Tom Crouch culminates his exhaustive research on the history of manned flight. All the players (and would-be players) are included from the Wright Brothers viewpoint. Crouch carefully examines the involvement/viewpoints of Chanute, Beloit, Langley, Curtiss and a host of contemporaries from Kings to children with intricate details of the Wright family itself. It sets one back so well in time that one feels you are sitting in the same room with Wilbur, Orville and Milton, their father. One can even sense that Wilbur and Orville might differ on their view of important events (i.e. The Wrights might never have flown if Wilbur had not been knocked cold playing ice hockey near the Soldier's Home).
Milton's religious influence and the Wright family tradition is shown to have played a key role in shaping Wilbur's decision to do something meaningful with his life after giving up a likely education at Yale and career in the ministry in his Dad's footsteps as a result of the hockey accident.
To me the book has a happy and sad part:
The happy part (the first half) deals with Wright family, history, ideas, experiments, inventions and basically seeing how the brothers (particularly Wilbur) came up with all their ideas and diligently and painstakingly pursued them.
The sad part (the last half) deals with the agony felt by Wilbur (before his death) and Orville for the rest of his life fighting a multitude of court cases over what they viewed as clear patent infringements. Orville is viewed as extreme and difficult to get along with (according quotes from to Charles Lindberg).
Only after Orville's death and World War 2 did the Wrights force the Smithsonian to back down and recant many of their publications related Samuel P.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
I've wanted to read Tom Crouch's book, The Bishop's Boys, ever since I visted Kitty Hawk, North Carolina for the first time while on vacation. I found the title intriguing. Even more intriguing was the idea that two parsonage children with little or no formal education beyond high school were responsible for the "world's first power-driven, heavier-than-air machine in which man made free, controlled, and sustained flight."
Mr. Crouch tells the tale in a way that does justice to both the men and the machine. By this I mean that neither overshadows the other. One comes to the end of the book convinced that the fates of both the men and the machine were inextricably intertwined. How this came to be is a story of wonder, some sadness, humor, and amazing human achievement.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Tom Crouch does a wonderful job in bringing the story of the Wright brothers to life. He explains their social interactions, their different personality types and the family's ideals.
However when he starts to tell the story of the invention of the aeroplane (airplane) the disappointments mount. At this point the author could have focussed on the insightfulness and engineering brilliance of the Wright brothers. However the author seems unwilling or incapable of expressing how the Wright brothers were able to distil and redefine the ideas of their predecessors. The redefinition of Smeaton's coefficient, the choice of a dynamic approach to restore equilibrium, the experiments and formulae required to calculate the basic forces of flight and efficient propellor design are all given scant attention. The book's phobia of technical detail is epitomised by its reference at one stage to increasing the octane rating of the fuel to increase power. Unfortunately octane and its potential to produce greater power would not be understood until the '20s. The book then appears to have great difficulty in differentiating what the Wright brothers did in comparison with their rivals. Instead of demonstrating why wing warping was the basic concept behind all control systems in aeroplanes, the author resorts to bold assertions such as the Wright brothers were aware of ailerons and fully described them in their patent application. This is highly debatable and in my opinion WRONG! Furthermore any patent issue which may have gone against the Wrights is always described as a legal loophole and not given any further regard. Instead of defending the Wrights on their own merit the book seems to be compelled to detail feel good stories or nicknames of distant relatives and associates.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tanja L. Walker on August 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Tom Crouch does an excellent job in telling the readers not only about the lives of Wilbur and Orville Wright, but about what made them tick, as well. A large chunk of the beginning is devoted to the story of their parents, especially their father, Milton Wright. The father, a preacher and bishop in the United Brethern denomination, stuck to his guns about certain beliefs, even when they led to scisms and lawsuits. Knowing this helps explain to the readers why the brothers did some things, particularly regarding the patent lawsuits, that seem selfish or greedy. Crouch gives us a portrait of the two that neither puts them on pedestals or demeans them, but shows them as humans.
The one drawback, at least for readers more interested in people than in their inventions, was that some of the information regarding the early planes could get awfully technical at times. I understood most of it, but it was a struggle, and it slowed the pace somewhat. Unfortunately, you probably can't have a decent biography of the Wrights without this information, and some might even enjoy it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews