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A Fascinating Book on the Lives of Five Great Men
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.