Magazine June 22, 2015, Issue

Wings of the Dove

The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster, 336 pp., $30)

My first impression of this book was unfavorable. Emerson said that writing ought to be an effort “to drop every dead word,” and thought surprise the first principle of style. Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David McCullough would perhaps beg to differ; he would seem to think that a writer should never seek for originality where the predictable and conventional, indeed the formulaic, will do. The virtue of McCullough’s writing is its ease and readability; its vice is superficiality. Only once in his new book about the Wright brothers did I come across a penetrating image, a flash of insight, that illuminated

Michael Knox Beran — Mr. Beran is a lawyer and writer. His book WASPs: The Splendors and Miseries of an American Aristocracy is to be published in August.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Work-Visa Wisdom

To understand the future of the immigration debate, one must first understand the H-1B visa program. Though not very well known among ordinary Americans, the program, first established in 1990, ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Indefensible Defense

Continual warfare in the Middle East, a nuclear Iran, electromagnetic-pulse weapons, emerging pathogens, and terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction variously threaten the United States, some with catastrophe on a ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

A Rousing Return

There are few stranger curricula vitae in the movie business than the one compiled by the Australian director George Miller. In the late Seventies and Eighties, he was the auteur ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Carry On? Jerry Hendrix is not the first to disparage the Navy’s and the Congress’s decision to continue building and improving the large aircraft carrier. Critics have disparaged this decision all ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ The Clintons have created a shell corporation that exists solely to advance their interests and shield them from accountability. It’s called the Democratic party. ‐ Fox News, which will host ...
Athwart

Tax Tech

You’ve heard the promise of nanotechnology: Soon tiny machines will repair organs, fight disease, swarm into enemy facilities to disable electronic devices, or even build self-replicating machines on Mars to ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

THURBER’S VETERANS They brooded on the porches of Columbus Forty years after ’61, when they went South, crossed the Ohio, battled the rebels And returned. By 1900 there were Still dozens of them left in ...

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