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They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators Hardcover – October 12, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From The New Yorker
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
Top Customer Reviews
Part One covers our history up to the Civil War, and the inventions one remembers from the social studies class of our youth are covered here - the cotton gin, the Colt revolver, the telegraph, the sewing machine, the bicycle - but also some surprising things like blue jeans and the credit rating. The emergence of electricity and its subsequent predominance in our lives are covered in Part Two, when Edison indeed invented the incandescent bulb, as well as the "kinetoscope", an early motion picture projector.Read more ›
The people Evans discusses have a wide range of backgrounds. For example immigrant Ida Rosenthal worked out of her home as a seamstress. She began to sow reinforced dresses meant to be worn without corsets. Customers asked for separated reinforcement as an undergarment for other dresses. Eventually demand was so high that she hired more seamstresses and focused on producing only her most popular item - the bra. Ted Turner was of course a colorful character who inherited a regional billboard company and worked his way up to founding CNN, an around the clock news channel updated continuously. The biographies also come from all time periods of American History: Part 1 covers history up to the War Between the States, Part 2 covers around 1870 to the very recent past (as the search engines mentioned in the title suggest). I was amazed to find out that the author, Evans, is British. He was drawn to study innovation in America from seeing pragmatism and the effect the country has had on modern history.
This is a neat book, and good to look through. (The actual dimensions of the book are huge, but only about 10 pages are devoted to each biography so it is easy to read in shorter sections.) History buffs, potential entrepreneurs and libraries from college to grade school would benefit from it.
Evans, former editor of The London Times and author, most recently, of The American Century, was aided in this enterprise by Gail Buckland, a distinguished photographic historian, and David Lefer, an investigative journalist.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A superior book and a most informative one. The writing is clear and brisk. The author related tales about these inventors - or perhaps I should say entrepreneurs - that gave me,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Richard C. Williams
This book has many stories about inventors. Very thorough research.Published 6 months ago by Nancy K. Williams
Shipped without dust cover; otherwise everthing is A.O.K.Published 18 months ago by Russell A. Muth Jr.
This book takes a single idea of innovation and explains person by person how each one did it and made it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Stanley S.
Chapter on Gary Kildall and Digital Research was priceless!
Good writing style; good research.
Instantly you are taken back from a new view of American history and invention that you didn't learn in elementary school. Read morePublished on June 23, 2014 by Sean