• by Paul Israel
  • Narrated by Raymond Todd
  • 22 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This portrait of Thomas Edison, history's most prolific inventor, introduces us to a man of genius and astounding foresight who established the prototype for today's think tanks and research firms. Paul Israel's ambitious work brightens the unexamined corners of a singularly influential and triumphant career in science.Armed with unprecedented access to Edison's workshop diaries, notebooks, and letters, Israel brings fresh insights into how the inventor's creative mind worked. For the first time, much attention is devoted to his early family life in Ohio and Michigan, where the young Edison honed his entrepreneurial sense and eye for innovation as a newsstand owner and editor of a weekly newspaper. These experiences underscore the inventor's later successes with new resonance and pathos.


What the Critics Say

"Exhaustively researched, with a strong emphasis on Edison's methods and achievements." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Israel draws on his subject's notebooks to provide an authoritative look into Edison's working methods, here leavened by enough personal detail to give the achievements shape." (Publishers Weekly)
"Israel has done a remarkable job. Not only has he given us fresh insights into a complex personality, but he has set this against the backdrop of a dramatically changing American society driven on remorselessly by the second Industrial Revolution, in which Edison was a pivotal player." (Nature)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Worst narration ever

I've downloaded and listened to about 100 books from Audible, this was the worst narrated version. It also wasn't cleaned up well, several "end of cassette XX " bits not removed. It was obvious when one recording session ended and another began. The reader would toss in bad foriegn accents, not to differentiate between characters, but because the speaker was foreign or from Boston.

The book itself was interesting, but very, very dry. I'm happy I listened to it, but I don't think I'd have made it to the end had I been reading it. With the audiobook I could 1/2 tune out and wait for another interesting bit to come along.

As an engineer and inventor I'm glad I listened to it, but the mediocre performance really didn't help
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- Michael

Technical Background Needed

Although the story of Edison is certainly fascinating, this book has extremely technical and detailed sections concerning the numerous (sometimes thousands) of experiments Edison completed before finding an acceptable solution to the many problems he endeavored to solve throughout his life. At times it can become mind numbing unless the listener is really interested in the process of inventing rather than the end result.
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- James F. Geary

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-15-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.