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Topic: Please Suggest: Biographies and Memoires of Great Inventors

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Subject: Please Suggest: Biographies and Memoires of Great Inventors
Date Posted: 11/14/2008 1:25 AM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2008
Posts: 1
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I have always wanted to learn more about those individuals whose scientific prowess, knowledge, and works helped to shape the modern day.  Can anyone suggest some great books?  For example, books on Thomas Edison or Benjamin Franklin.

Kat (polbio) -
Subject: Bios
Date Posted: 12/23/2008 5:11 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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I read a lot of biographies on the industry giants from Franklin up to about the mid 1940's.

There are a lot of great bios about Edison. The Wizard of Menlo Park by Randall E Stross, Edison: A Biography by Matthew Josephson are the two I read. They were very good.

A good Franklin book is The First american, The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by HW Brands.

Some others which I enjoyed:

  • Carnegie by Peter Krass (my current read),
  • Pulitzer by Denis Brian (Very good),
  • Titon: The Life of John D Rockefeller SR by Ron Chernov,
  • Tesla: Man out of Time  by Margaret Cheney,
  • Darwin, His Daughter and Human Evolution by Randal Keynes (was a little dry, but otherwise good).

If you like History books and not just biographies, I had to read a really good (and long!!) book called Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression  and War, 1929 to 1945 by David M Kennedy in a History class I took. It was very well written and not dry.

Last Edited on: 12/23/08 5:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/3/2009 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Some good suggestions, I see a couple I want to read.