The story of a natural genius -- a bicycle salesman and racer from Hammonds-port, New York -- a man with little education and less knowledge of scientific theory who held the title for ten years of ""fastest human on earth"". He became the leading motor expert in the country and through Alexander Graham Bell joined the group that made the first public flight. He led the American parade in perfecting the airplane, and distinguished himself over many years in his contributions to aeronautics. The war put a stop to his activities, but his heart remained in the field until his death at 52. Through the biography runs the bitter feud with the Wright Brothers, the patent suits, the stories of men who worked with him -- some tragic -- some gay -- all absorbing. Well done -- throughly interesting -- though unrelievedly enthusiastic.