- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 17, 2010
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
“[Heinlein] made footsteps big enough for a whole country to follow. And it was our country that did it… We proceed down a path marked by his ideas. That's legacy enough for any man. He showed us where the future is.” ―Tom Clancy
“Like Carlos Baker's Hemingway, this is an essential and exhaustive life.” ―Joe Haldeman
“Patterson offers a meticulous life-portrait of America's most pivotal science fiction author. In following Robert Heinlein's journey, step-by-step, we come to understand the persistent themes of his work. Perseverance, compassion, courage, curiosity, and--above all--a drive to confront the future on its own terms, eye-to-eye.” ―David Brin--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
One of the things that I most deeply appreciate is that this isn't a hagiography. Patterson has deep affection for his subject, but Heinlein is shown as a flawed human being who makes many mistakes and who had many shortcomings. Many mysteries about his life are finally resolved (who was his first wife - the one before Leslyn?) thanks to extensive detective work.
For fans of Heinlein's fiction, this book (and I trust, the subsequent volume) will help to answer the tired question that ever author dreads, "Where do you get your ideas?" Heinlein's life is, naturally, the chief source for his fictional characters and plot lines. Sometimes Patterson is explicit in drawing these connections. In other places, readers versed in Heinlein's work will catch these linkages on their own.
The book must also be praised as a fascinating lesson in American history. Heinlein came from humble Missouri roots and lived through the bulk of the 20th century. His Navy career prior to WWII is fascinating in its own right, as is his involvement in California politics during the Depression.
Fans of Heinlein: READ THIS BOOK. Fans of science fiction: READ THIS BOOK. As for those interested in American History, especially U.S. Naval history...I strongly commend this biography to you.
Even if you already knew, it is a shock to realize that Heinlein was born in the age of the horse and buggy, when motor cars, the telephone, and electricity were still quite recent inventions, and when Mark Twain still had a couple of years to live (and H.G. Wells another 39!) Indeed, Heinlein was 7 years old when the First World War began - and 10 when the USA became a combatant.Read more ›
There are precious few biographies extant that I have had the patience to read. Too often, sad to relate, they are unabashed hagiography, or reconctructionist excrement designed to tear down the subject. Neither serves the reader at all well. The first volume of "Heinlein: In Dialog with His Century," William H. Patterson, Jr.'s massive new biography falls into neither pit, revealing a serious, complex man -- a good man, an intelligent man, subject to the stresses and shocks that bedevil all of us. If for no other reason -- revealing Robert A, Heinlein's very basic humanity -- this work deserves praise. Quite truthfully, I've been in utter awe of Heinlein for most of my life; now, I discover, he's a real human being, and someone I'd rather like to meet.
As praiseworthy as this work is, I can't help but feel that I've been presented with a pretty-good second draft. Why should this be so? Heinlein's been gone for twenty-two years, and this project was launched over ten -- almost eleven -- years ago. Surely there has been sufficient time for some copy-editing? For example, George VII did not succeed Edward VII on the British throne, George VI did. For example, The German V-1 flying bomb was not a rocket, it was pulse-jet powered. (This mistake is made in a book about Robert A. Heinlein, God Save the Mark!) For example, the (non-military) service is not "merchant marines," it is the Merchant Marine.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been a avid Heinlein reader as long as I remember.This gave me a fresh insight to my favorite author. It is wellworth the readPublished 26 days ago by TPuckett
Bought for my husband. One of his favorite authors. He would recommend him to any sci-fi fan.Published 1 month ago by Kimberly Zoldos
All but the most fanatic fans will be surprised by some of the events in Robert Heinlein's life (such as his service in the Army). Read morePublished 5 months ago by RHel
It's a biography. Why is Amazon asking me to describe the plot? Well... full of surprises. Heinlein led an adventurous life.Published 8 months ago by George Edwards
This book doesn't really have a "plot" (which Amazon insipidly asks us readers to evaluate) because it is a non-fiction biography of Heinlein. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kindle Customer
Brian Lutterman has great command of modern legal practice and just how dark it can be. Pen Wilkinson is a terrific character. This series is going to be a winner.Published 8 months ago by Fredrick Huebner
This wonderful two-volume authorized biography of the great writer was passed to me by Ron Pittenger, a close Marine buddy since 1964. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Robert A. Hall
Look if you have any interest at all in the man's life you have to read this. There was so much more to this man, and his story, than what you all ready know.Published 12 months ago by Obsidian
I would like to protest Amazon's recent addition of the "plot/mood/pace/characters" banners to these reviews, as they are not relevant to nonfiction. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Dan'l Danehy-Oakes