The definitive biography of the century’s godfather of invention—from the preeminent Edison scholar
The conventional story of Thomas Edison reads more like myth than history: with only three months of formal education, a hardworking young man overcomes the odds to become one of the greatest inventors in history. But the portrait that emerges from Edison: A Life of Invention reveals a man of genius and astonishing foresight whose career was actually a product of his fast-changing era. In this peerless biography, Paul Israel exposes the man behind the inventions, expertly situating his subject within a thoroughly realized portrait of a burgeoning country on the brink of massive change. For the first time, much attention is devoted to Edison’s early family life, where the young man honed his entrepreneurial sense and eye for innovation as the editor of a weekly newspaper. Armed with unprecedented access to Edison’s workshop diaries, notebooks, letters, and more than five million pages of archives, Israel brings fresh insight into how the inventor’s creative mind worked, brightening the unexamined corners of his singularly influential and triumphant career in science.
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