Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 2017: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Image result for the wright brothers david
Meeting Details: Friday, Feb 17th at Marion's Place.  

Discussion QUESTIONS:
  1. Did you like the book?  Why or why not?
  2. What are the differences—and similarities—between the two brothers? 
  3. What goes into making genius like the Wright brothers, aside from sheer intelligence? Consider traits such as perseverance, focus, and energy. What else? What about the role of imagination? 
  4. In his book, David McCullough reveals that when Wilbur Wright was in France, he spent a fair amount of time at the Louvre and that he was deeply moved by the great Gothic works he saw. What is the importance that the author ascribes to that interest—and why? What does it suggest about the importance of the liberal arts even in the fields of science and technology?
  5. Why were the Wright brothers dismissed in the United States but taken seriously in France? What was the difference in culture and/or politics that generated interest on the part of the French but not the Americans?
  6. Wilbur and Orville displayed few emotions. Do you think this hampered the author in his attempt to characterize the two men, to portray them as rich, fully-developed human beings? How does McCullough bring them to life—does he, or doesn't he? Do the two men come across as heroic? Why or why not?
  7. Why was the story of the Wright brothers' achievement so unlikely? Talk about the hardships, knowledge deficits, and other obstacles they had to overcome in order to get their invention off the ground, so to speak? 
  8. What struck you most in the story of the the Wright brothers? What surprised you or impressed you? How much did you know (or understand) before you read McCullough's book...and what did you come away having learned?
  9. In 1908, when the Wrights finally showed their plane to the press, one reporter wrote: "this spectacle of men flying was so startling, so bewildering to the senses...that we all stood like so many marble men." Imagine yourself in that situation: how might you have reacted? Can you think of a future technological advancement that might astonish you the same way?
  10. Were the brothers compensated fairly for their invention? As someone replied to Wilbur, "I am afraid, my friend, that your usually sound judgment has been warped by the desire for great wealth." What is your assessment of that remark—fair or unfair?
  11. Would you recommend it to someone else?

MENU Ideas:

BACON!!!! Since this is a primary ingredient that the Wright brothers missed on their first excursion to Kitty Hawk; try something creative with Bacon 


Something French

Something Signature Ohio. 

I will take care of Coffee and Drinks and...undecided...


  1. Debating between Ohio buckeye treats and chocolate bacon cupcakes... or maybe both! We're cleared the calendar and read the book and we're looking forward to it. :-)

  2. Thanks for putting this up for me!!

  3. I think I'm taking bacon-wrapped asparagus :-)

  4. I'm also bringing some bacon, chicken pizza.

  5. I will also take a chicken dish

  6. I am making a bacon potato cheddar tart. and some cauliflower bacon.


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