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Stormy Genius: The Life of Aviation's Maverick Bill Lear Hardcover – October 1, 1985


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (T); 2nd Printing edition (October 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395353726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395353721
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,451,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Bill stirred men's blood," said one of Lear's employees, and after reading this spirited biography by the author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood, the reader understands why. Although lacking formal education, especially in science, Lear was an inventive genius, his interests ranging from radio to airplanes, wire recorders, prefabricated homes and steam-powered cars. His 150 patents included a radio direction finder and an automatic pilot for planes, and the eight-track tape, designed originally for automobile stereos. And, while he focused on his invention of the moment with monomaniacal intensity, Lear found time to contract four marriages, sire seven children and have many mistresses, some for years. A stubborn, opinionated, difficult man who made and lost several fortunes, his technological intuition rarely led him astray, although he was ill-suited to manage his various companies. His life story is absorbing. Photos not seen by PW. November 13
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Thoroughly and carefully documented through articles and researched through personal interviews, this is a factual but readable account of the life of Bill Lear, the very productive, controversial engineer and inventor. Among his achievements were improvements in automobile radios, new or improved aircraft instruments, magnetic sound recording systems, magnetic tape cartridge players, jet engine systems, and light-duty jet aircraft. Rashke, author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood ( LJ 5/1/81), provides great insight into Lear's creative and inventive success, his entrepreneurial style, and his disruptive personal life. Enthusiastically recommended. William A. McIntyre, N.H. Vocational-Technical Coll. Lib., Nashua
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

RICHARD RASHKE is a lecturer and author of non-fiction books including Stormy Genius: The Life of Aviation's Maverick Bill Lear, Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America's Open Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals, Escape from Sobibor, and The Killing of Karen Silkwood. Rashke is featured in the award-winning international television series Nazi Hunters. His works have been translated into eleven languages and have been the subject of movies for screen and television. A produced screenwriter and playwright, his work has appeared on network television and off-Broadway. He is also an alto sax player and composer. His latest composition, Crane Wife, a family musical based on a Japanese folktale, was performed at the Kennedy Center, and a new play, Dear Esther, based on a Sobibor prisoner, will open in 2013. He lives in Washington, D.C. www.richardrashke.com

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Krantz on June 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bill Lear was a genius - no doubt about it. But I never finished the book because his personal life was so unappealing to me that it was hard to stay on track. Lear, like King David got it right at work - but failed miserably at home. He wasn't a good husband or father. What Lear did for the aviation industry is on par with the Wright Bros. but I wanted to like the man as well and I just couldn't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eve DeVinney on February 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Great Plane, Great genius and great book.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Lear and a few of his side-kicks,
and a visit to the Wichita plant.

Sad that rumors seem to have almost ruined his company.

I was there and know that such rumors were not founded on truth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By frosty on October 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very good read about a natural born aviation and radio pioneer. Many similarities between today's business practices and business of that day. Only the products have changed.
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