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Gail Buckland
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American history

They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators

Harold Evans, Gail Buckland & David Lefer.
Publisher Little, Brown  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 11.2 x 9.5 x 1.45 inches
ISBN 9780316277662
Pages/Publication Date 496/2004
Daedalus Item Code 36238
List Price: $40.00
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The founding editor of Condé Nast Traveler magazine and the former editorial director of U.S. News and World Report and president of Random House, Harold Evans here looks at business geniuses that he calls "innovators." These are not the originators of various important inventions, but certainly the ones who made them part of our world, from Robert Fulton, Sam Colt, and Garrett Morgan to Madam C.J. Walker, Joan Ganz Cooney, and Gary Kildall. The book is illustrated throughout with period art, photos, and patent diagrams and other documentation.

"In his second large-format book about U.S. history, Evans extolls American moxie, that seemingly native mixture of initiative and luck that produced the Colt revolver, the FM radio, the Kodak camera, Mickey Mouse, and eBay. As a historian, Evans is less concerned with the inventive spark itself than with how it finds capital and markets. This approach allows fresh insights into familiar stories; we know that the Wright brothers flew, but not, perhaps, how they flirted with the French before selling their machine to the U.S. government. Evans favors 'democratizers' who generated affordable mass culture; Henry Ford is his paragon. In the current era, he focusses on the ferment of Silicon Valley, as embodied by such innovators as Larry Page, the Google co-founder, who marvels that more people don't work in technology, because 'that's the easiest way to change the world'."—The New Yorker

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