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Publisher's Summary

This riveting biography from the American Bar Association visits the spectacular life of Edwin Land, breakthrough inventor. At the time of his death, he stood third on the list of our most prolific inventors, behind only Thomas Edison and one of Edison's colleagues. Land's most famous achievement was the creation of a revolutionary film-and-camera system that could produce a photographic print moments after the picture was taken.
In A Triumph of Genius, you'll learn details of Land's involvement over four decades with top-secret U.S. military intelligence efforts during World War II and through the Cold War in the service of seven American presidents. Additionally you'll thrill to the compelling firsthand look at one of our nation's most important legal battles over intellectual property--Polaroid versus Kodak. The conflict led to an epic legal battle, a dramatic event for Land, who, from the witness stand, personally starred in a compelling courtroom drama.
©2015 Ronald K. Fierstein (P)2015 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Fierstein brings the story to life in such a way that at the end, the reader actually senses the huge emotional strain that such a long, fierce, and persistent battle entailed for those participating in it." (Paul M. Janicke, HIPLA professor of law, University of Houston Law Center)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 03-27-15


Ronald K. Fierstein has obviously done a great deal of research about Edwin Land and his company. The author tells the fascinating story of the reclusive genius who, as a teen, invented the plastic polarizer, which is still used almost a century later in countless popular applications including sunglasses and LCD screens.

Edwin Land (1909-1991) also pioneered the revolutionary one-step system of photography. He also made critical contributions to top-secret U. S. military intelligence efforts during WWII and the cold war. He had 535 patents in his name.

The author goes into detail about Land’s inventions in a step by step process that left me feeling as if I was watching over Land’s shoulder. The section about the trial goes into great detail even to the number of hotel rooms rented for the attorneys, legal secretaries and paralegals. I was amazed how long the case took; five years for doing depositions alone with each person taking 6 weeks or more.

Land dropped out of Harvard University to start his company to produce his polarizer discovery. His father counseled him to protect his invention with a patent. He took his father’s advice to heart and earned the sobriquet “Champion of Patents.”

This book goes into detail about The Polaroid v Kodak patent lawsuit, the unprecedented account of the most significant patent litigation of the twentieth century. Ronald K. Fierstein was a young lawyer working with Edwin Land on the team of litigators representing Polaroid in court. He later became a successful entertainment attorney.

The book is well written and reads like a legal thriller. Peter Larkin narrated the book.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By MD on 04-07-15

A triumph to finish it

An important biographical account of E Land. I am very glad to have read it. It has also helped me to understand Steve Jobs because Land was his role model. Unfortunately it is so detailed and repetitive that it is very difficult to follow. I heard it at a much faster speed in order to keep me from being bored. I would look for an abridged version.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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