Foreword Reviews

A Tale of Two Brothers

The Story of the Wright Brothers

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

A Tale of Two Brothers offers a fresh perspective on a fascinating historical duo.

A Tale of Two Brothers: The Story of the Wright Brothers by Judith A. Dempsey humanizes the celebrated pioneers of aviation.

In thirty-four chapters, the text meticulously chronicles the Wright brothers’ journey. Familiar historical highlights are covered, from their time working in a bicycle shop to their momentous initial flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The great credit of A Tale of Two Brothers, however, is its presentation of lesser-known facts about Orville and Wilbur, from their close relationship with their parents to what happened after their extraordinary flight.

The work is entertaining and highly informative. A great deal of space goes to the trials and tribulations of the brothers’ aviation endeavor, with Dempsey cataloging the many different manifestations of machinery and equipment that were required to reach their brief initial flight.

In the work, Orville and Wilbur’s aviation work makes way for the stunning flight innovations created since their feat. This includes the incredible progression of aircraft, including carriers used in space travel. Focusing on the brothers’ growing legacy in this way provides a holistic approach to learning about aviation that makes the text that much more dynamic.

A host of sources are cited, including the writings of Orville and Wilbur themselves and of prominent scholars in historical aviation. Though some of the sources quoted are already quite comprehensive accounts of the Wrights’ lives, Dempsey manages to carve out a new niche, arranging details and humanizing the brothers in a fresh way.

Language use is clear and engaging. Exposition happens quickly and never focuses on one detail for too long, keeping the text from becoming stale or repetitive. Dempsey has a clear narrative voice that both establishes her own research and incorporates the work of others nicely.

Images used throughout the book also help with contextualization. Prominent figures from the brothers’ lives appear, from their mother early in the text to the journalists who helped publicize their flight much later. Photos of the series of gliders and flight machinery that Orville and Wilbur created before their first successful aircraft are also included; they prove immensely helpful in understanding how dedicated both brothers were to aviation.

An appealing cover features the stunning Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, flanked by pictures of the brothers and their first powered aircraft. The book’s font is too small and cramped, making the work difficult to read.

A Tale of Two Brothers offers a fresh perspective on a fascinating historical duo.

Reviewed by Amanda Adams

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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