Author James Tobin places the personal story of theWright brothers within a national context by weaving details of the great race between the Wright brothers and their competitors, the Smithsonian Institution, Samuel Pierpont Langley, Alexander Graham Bell and Glenn Curtiss, in their fierce pursuit of machine-powered flight. The Wright Brothers invented the Flyer in 1903, and the story picks up where they left off and thrusts them into the race to conquer the air. Detractors didn't believe the Wright's new aircraft would last long; others hustled to imitate or surpass their achievement. Most everyone was enchanted by the airplane's capacity for speed. The Wright brothers were the catalysts of the great race of those who were willing to die to be written into the most memorable time in aviation history. Free Press (www.simonsays.com); $28; ISBN: 0-684-85688-3.