Video: The Wright Brothers

Wind, sand, and a dream of flight brought Wilbur and Orville Wright to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina where, after four years of experimentation, they achieved the first successful tests of a heavier than air, engine-powered machine in 1903. The Wright brothers, high school dropouts who were self-taught mechanical and aeronautic engineers, typified the legendary ethic of American know-how. Author James Tobin is a specialist in literary journalism and narrative history at Miami University of Ohio. His first book, Ernie Pyle’s War: America’s Eyewitness to World War II won the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award in biography.