is the true story about Alberto Santos-Dumont who from a very young
age was obsessed with the idea of flight.
Things were not
easy for Alberto and his family at first because there was so much
to be done. His father's plantation was very large.
Alberto's father became known as the "coffee king" and as a result
of this new venture became very wealthy.
There were eight
children in the family but Alberto was the one who took the most
interest in the coffee business. He would spend entire days
watching the machines and teaching himself how to fix them. Alberto
would stay up at night reading some of his father's engineering
manuals. Most of all, he loved science fiction - his favorite
was Jules Vernes' books about flying machines.
wealth allowed him to live a good life in Paris. There he
worked on ballooning and building engine-powered vehicles, which he
used to circle the Eiffel Tower. Alberto wanted to be the
first to build and fly an airplane. However, Wilbur and
Orville Wright beat him to it.
When the war started
and it was evident that a plane could be used for mass destruction,
Alberto tried to campaign for demilitarization of aircraft. As
time went on he developed a mental illness and held himself
personally responsible for deaths created by the flying
This is a very captivating story. Most
people in the United States probably never heard of Alberto
Santos-Dumont. This book brings to light the honor Alberto
really deserves for his part in history. Paul Hoffman has done
an excellent job of researching the facts to put this book
together. Buy this book - it is extremely well
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