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Uncommon Friends: Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel, and Charles Lindbergh Paperback – June 23, 1989


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Uncommon Friends: Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel, and Charles Lindbergh + The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1st Harvest/HBJ Ed edition (June 23, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156926202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156926201
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Now in his 80s, real-estate developer Newton recalls with uncritical admiration five celebrated men with whom he enjoyed almost filial relationships. According to the author, they all shared the same philosophy of life, enouncing business principles in terms of moral precepts. Newton's bonds with Carrel and with the scientist's friend and partner in medical research, Lindbergh, were forged by their common interest in metaphysics. The narrative is studded with anecdotes about the nature of these men: Edison's assertion that his deafness was an asset; Ford's dictum that profit is essential to business vitality; Firestone's advocacy of Japanese-style "consensus" management; Carrel's expectation of encountering Aristotle after death; and Lindbergh's revulsion at the destruction wrought by aviation in WW II.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Now in his 80s, real-estate developer Newton recalls with uncritical admiration five celebrated men with whom he enjoyed almost filial relationships. According to the author, they all shared the same philosophy of life, enouncing business principles in terms of moral precepts. Newton's bonds with Carrel and with the scientist's friend and partner in medical research, Lindbergh, were forged by their common interest in metaphysics. The narrative is studded with anecdotes about the nature of these men: Edison's assertion that his deafness was an asset; Ford's dictum that profit is essential to business vitality; Firestone's advocacy of Japanese-style "consensus" management; Carrel's expectation of encountering Aristotle after death; and Lindbergh's revulsion at the destruction wrought by aviation in WW II.
(Publishers Weekly ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Edison was amazing with over 1000 patents.
swanee
Mr. Newton tells it like he lived it, you get the distinct impression, from reading this book, that Mr. Newton saw these men as both great leaders and great men.
Kevin R. Beebe
The book is very interesting and informative.
Manuel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Robert Paterson on August 19, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book originally caught my eye as an addition to another book I read called Edison: A Life of Invention by Paul Israel. I wanted a book that would cover a little more of Edison's personal life, and this book did just that. However, James Newton's close, dedicated friendships with all of these great men of the twentieth century is truly amazing, and I learned more than I would probably learn otherwise about some of these important historical figures.
The entire book is fascinating, and surely different parts will appeal to different readers. I was particularly enchanted with a poignant description of how Charles Lindbergh handled dying as he lay on his deathbed. I was also fascinated with how environmentally conscientious some of these men were, particularly Edison and Lindbergh, but also Ford. For example, Ford was very interested in making automobile parts out of soybeans in order to reduce the need for metal parts. It seems that all of these men had numerous ideas and ideas for inventions that were way ahead of their time - perhaps some of them still are.
Newton's writing is quite good, and I only have one very minor criticism: it seems that he preaches a little bit and dwells on the religious facet of his relationships with these people. Of course, I'm sure this was a very important part of his relationship with these men and their families, but it seems that there is a grand, overarching agenda he has in constantly illustrating their connection to God and religion.
If you are interested in any of these historical figures and their fascinating relationships with each other, this book is definitely the best book you will find on the subject.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Deej on March 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
I recently bought this book while visiting the Edison-Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL. It's an amazing informal history whose author is as interesting as his incredible subjects. Edison and Ford really come alive as people, and Newton gives a unique perspective on Lindbergh's oft-criticized WWII neutralitry stance. Newton's own participation in the Spirituality movement is especially fascinating. I can't wait for the PBS special!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Frances W Marshall on May 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I've ever read. It takes you on a tour of the lives of some incredible men whose work and personalities still have influence on us years after their deaths. Prior to reading this book, I had no idea that all of these men not only knew each other, but had such strong personal connections. I have recommended this book to many friends and will recommend it strongly to anyone who wants a book to enjoy that also provides such a wonderful and personal look at history through the minds of arguably some of the wisest men of the 20th century.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Paterson on August 19, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book originally caught my eye as an addition to another book I read called Edison: A Life of Invention by Paul Israel. I wanted a book that would cover a little more of Edison's personal life, and this book did just that. However, James Newton's close, dedicated friendships with all of these great men of the twentieth century is truly amazing, and I learned more than I would probably learn otherwise about some of these important historical figures.
The entire book is fascinating, and surely different parts will appeal to different readers. I was particularly enchanted with a poignant description of how Charles Lindbergh handled dying as he lay on his deathbed. I was also fascinated with how environmentally conscientious some of these men were, particularly Edison and Lindbergh, but also Ford. For example, Ford was very interested in making automobile parts out of soybeans in order to reduce the need for metal parts. It seems that all of these men had numerous ideas and ideas for inventions that were way ahead of their time - perhaps some of them still are.
Newton's writing is quite good, and I only have one very minor criticism: it seems that he preaches a little bit and dwells on the religious facet of his relationships with these people. Of course, I'm sure this was a very important part of his relationship with these men and their families, but it seems that there is a grand, overarching agenda he has in constantly illustrating their connection to God and religion.
If you are interested in any of these historical figures and their fascinating relationships with each other, this book is definitely the best book you will find on the subject.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
The book is an excellent read, and on first seen, almost unbelievable, but has been proven true by many sources and the author is still alive. I unconditionally recommend it to all who are interested in accurate and entertaining history. The hour-long PBS Special will be released late this year or next, but the Preview hosted by Walter Cronkite attests to the book's accuracy and interest-level. The book will be much in demand after the PBS Special is viewed. James G. Parke, M.D.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By amyguita@hotmail.com on September 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
While reading this book, I was fascinated by each of these men but even more so of James Newton, the author. Reading this book I found that it was full of history, humor, and unfounded wisdom. I began taking notes for my own personal edification. This is truly a must read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Phil Cherry on October 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be a great read! Newton does a fine job communicating the characters of the men that he worked with, revealing their work ethic and their faith and what made them the men they were.
I found this book to be such a pleasure that I ended up buying copies for several friends as well as my Dad.
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