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The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great Hardcover – January 1, 2013
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Chemical & Engineering News
[The Tinkerers] provides a fine and lively discourse on the art and finer science of tinkering.’”
Midwest Book Review
[Foege hopes] to inspire people to incorporate more of the tinkering mindset into their everyday livesand the lives of their children.”
The Tinkerers is both tribute and rallying cry.... [The Tinkerers] is an intriguing look at America’s clashing cultures of individualism, capitalism, and creativity, one that poses valuable questions.”
San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review
An easily read, entertaining and enlightening book about the prototypical American tinkerers whose curiosity and creativity have brightened all of our lives.”
Post and Courier
Alec Foege explores the United States’ tinkering heritage and then follows this perpetually cutting-edge endeavor to present-day America showing the value of an age-old means of bringing new ideas to the marketplace.”
[A]n entertaining, easy-to-understand, engaging tale.... You can’t help being fascinated by some of the details [Foege] uncovers.... The Tinkerers grabs your attention from page one, and doesn’t let go until the end.”
[Foege] shows us how tinkering remains, in new and unexpected forms, at the heart of American society and culture.”
The Tinkerers by Alec Foege is a highly worthwhile read on the extraordinary history, impact and revival of the American tinkerer spirit.”
An enthusiast’s book about enthusiasts.... [A] kaleidoscopic view of the myriad forms innovation can take. Alec Foege’s book is a useful contribution to understanding our era.”
Foege still believes in tinkering, and so should we.”
At a time when domestic manufacturing is in decline and the national mood is somewhat grim, Foege makes a case that a return to tinkering might show us the way forward.”
New Yorker, Page-Turner blog
An easily enjoyable read.”
A celebratory exploration of American tinkerers and the spirit of innovation that moves them....[a] lucid meditation on innovation.... [Foege] effectively argues that real tinkerers need their own space and the freedom to fail.... Tinkering remains a force to be reckoned with in the 21st century.... Laudatory history mixed with a provocative treatise on creating neat new things.”
Once you acquire the tinkerer’s mindset, as described in Alec Foege’s engrossing book, the world becomes a gigantic spare parts bin, inviting you to become a creative participant, rather than a passive consumer, in your manufactured environment.”
Mark Frauenfelder, Editor-in-Chief, MAKE
Tired of all the over-hyped, same-sounding books on innovation’? Here’s a smart, fresh, fascinating take on why tinkering’ is such a deep part of American enterpriseand how it is fundamental to shaping our economic future.”
Alan M. Webber, co-founder, Fast Company magazine
For anyone who likes to question, pull things apart, and put them back together, this book is for you!”
Tiffany Shlain, Filmmaker & Founder of the Webby Awards
Making and hacking is being completely obsessed with a puzzle that shares its solution with everyone once it's solved. The Tinkerers explains that "Making" isn't something you just "do," it's a mindset. You look at the same world as everyone else, filled with the same things, things that are assumed to do just one thing or what we're told they should dobut you constantly ask yourself what else can I make this thing do?’”
-Limor "Ladyada" Fried, Founder & Engineer, Adafruit Industries
Top Customer Reviews
Reminded me of Apple's 1984 commercial.
Its a quick read, would have justified its kindle price if it covered more people.(Passing mention of Steve Jobs and no mention of Henry Ford).
In part, I suppose, it's because my conception of a tinkerer doesn't quite jibe with the author's. definition, which is to create something new from what's available. I can't disagree with that, but in my mind tinkerers are folks such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison (both noted in the book), Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright Brothers, probably Henry Ford, and on and on up through today's computer world.
My eyes began to glaze over when the author cited Thomas MacDonald as a tinkerer. Well, perhaps he was. being an engineer and interested in road construction, but in my mind he was essentially a policy wonk (but certainly a fabulous one) who helped to form what eventually turned into the Interstate highway system. And if you really want a sense of the guy, read The Big Roads. But to label him a tinkerer? Not in my view.
Likewise, maybe the folks who created credit default swaps were clever and ingenious, but tinkerers? By the author's definition, yes; my view: nope. Another eye-glazer, as was a section on a guy who is widely regarded as nothing more than a patent troll.
There's some interesting stuff in the book, and some suggestions about educational changes that might foster more tinkering from kids as they grow up, but ho-hum.
In short, not an awful book, but not partticularly intriguing.
Great things do not come from degrees, I guess, is the moral of the story. Great things come from thinking, self-reliance, and independent thinking- much of what is usually not implemented in the current school systems, especially public schools. I learned a few interesting facts while reading this, too, for example, the mp3 being invented originally in Germany.
Worth the read.
I loved the last chapter particularly as it illuminated so well something that is clear to me but not so respected in the market sometimes. A study is quoted as saying that managers tended to like specialist as employees but generalists as colleagues. Guess why?
Long live the Generalist, Versatilist and Tinkerers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What an eye opener. Every business in America should contribute a very small percentage to the future of the country. Read morePublished 22 months ago by greg o
This book has lot of interesting facts. It has no pictures or diagrams. I found that odd in a book of tinkering. Read morePublished on December 26, 2013 by rpv
I went in with high expectations and left with a meh feeling that it was okay but could have been lots better. Episodic vignettes with awkward transitions and an unclear thesis. Read morePublished on December 1, 2013 by Gizmo8
This book is just barely OK. The author writes with a odd use of the English language--some slanguage, some jargon, not much is really very interesting. Obvious deductions etc.Published on March 26, 2013 by R. B. Cathcart