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The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World Paperback – March 25, 2008
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“In The Wizard of Menlo Park, [Stross] makes a fascinating and altogether contemporary contribution to our understanding of an iconic American figure.”
–Los Angeles Times
“Randall Stross once again reveals a keen eye for the hidden details and forgotten nuances in the lives of great men. His re-creation of the life and achievements of Thomas Edison will become the standard reference to which all historians will turn for years to come. And yet the book is written with a flair for observation that reads more like a great mystery novel than your standard biography. A must-read!”
–Roderick Kramer, William R. Kimball Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Business School, Stanford University
About the Author
RANDALL STROSS is the author of five previous books, including eBoys and Steve Jobs & the Next Big Thing.
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1.) Thomas Edison's various achievements as an inventor.
2.) How Edison's inventions led to an ostensible raise in the standard of living in the United States and eventually Europe.
3.) How Edison became and lived as a celebrity because of his achievements.
If you like reading about heroic producers of the industrial revolution, then I highly recommend adding this book to your reading list.
Even the anecdotes about Thomas Edison's (initial) failures are fun to read. For example, I particularly liked the story of how J.P. Morgan volunteered to have his study be one of the first rooms to be wired with electricity. Eager to bask in his latest highly anticipated investment, Morgan turned on the incandescent light next to his desk to do a little evening reading. Unfortunately for him, as he began to read, his study caught fire, eventually leading to his house suffering substantial damage.
Did J.P. Morgan divest himself of Thomas Edison? Absolutely not! He merely invited Thomas Edison over to witness the charred remains of his study and firmly inquired if he could install the wiring correctly the second time. Such was the earned reputation of Thomas Edison. J.P. Morgan knew he was investing in something big. Also, this story also revealed a great deal about his character. Instead of dwelling on his serious mistake, Thomas Edison focused on how he could rectify the situation and improve his invention. But I digress.
A great read!
Coming out of reading this book I really appreciate Edison, and realize that he should have stuck to inventing and left the leadership and management of his companies to people who were good and leadership and management. Classic micromanager who was not good at leading and managing. But, one heck of an inventor.
Definitely worth a read!