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Edison Inventing the Century

By Neil Baldwin
Book Details
  • Author: Neil Baldwin
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Brand: Hyperion
  • Published: 1995-02-09
  • Edition: 1st
Neil Baldwin's Edison: Inventing the Century is the first biography of one of the seminal figures in our history to examine him as both myth and man, assessing his remarkable accomplishments while taking thorough measure of the paradoxes of his character. Drawing upon unprecedented access to Edison family papers and years of research at the Edison corporate archives, Baldwin offers a revealing portrait of the inventor, in which we discover a man whose life epitomized the American dream as fully as he became a victim of its darker side. From his years as a fragile boy hawking newspapers on trains throughout the Midwest to his arrival in New York City as an itinerant telegrapher seeking his fortune; from his development of the light bulb to his spectacular electrification of lower Manhattan; from his struggles to create the phonograph and motion picture and bring them to market to his obsessive search for a source of natural rubber even as he was dying, Edison: Inventing the Century is an enthralling chronicle of the most revered figure of his time.
Alongside the esteemed scientist stands the fiercely self-aggrandizing manufacturer of his own myth; the man possessed by a virtually incessant flow of ideas, who often fights brutally to protect those ideas in the marketplace; the man who publicly preaches the values of home life while his own family is plagued by clinical depression and alcoholism, and while his six neglected, aimless children from two marriages try to step from his massive shadow, yet prove, almost inevitably, to be a disappointment.