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on August 19, 2001
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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on March 31, 2000
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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on May 2, 2001
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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on September 14, 1999
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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on August 19, 2001
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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on May 26, 1999
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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on October 9, 2000
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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on May 22, 2015
I have an autographed copy elsewhere, and because of the wonderful true stories about these brilliant men I just had to get another copy for where I am living now. It is a can't put it down book - very light, but amazing to be a part of their lives.
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on February 21, 2016
Read this book for book club, and felt very in tune with the time of the book and loved the people involved due to the author's friendship and respect for all the people he talks about. This book is not on Kindle and should be, although there is a lot of photographs which do not always download well on Kindle. With prime shipping, I received it in 2 days, and Amazon always sends everything to me in excellent condition.
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on March 8, 2013
I discovered this book by accident. It is just so very interesting/intriguing, that this one seemingly common man named James Newton, while living an ordinary life, became friends with 5 famous people, 4 of which are American icons! An absolutely unique fate and American experience. Published in 1987, it only took me 26 years to discover this book...................I am glad I did.

Dr. Stanley E. Toompas, Optometrist
& Author of, "I'm the One the Other Isn't"
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