They Made America

  • by Harold Evans, Gail Buckland, David Lefer
  • Narrated by Harold Evans
  • 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

There has never been a history of America like Harold Evans's long-awaited They Made America. With the verve and cogency that made his American Century an acclaimed best seller, Evans tells the epic story of the men and women who made America over two centuries.The workshop revolutionaries who made our world have never had the attention afforded the political revolutionaries who founded this nation. But it has been these innovators, in small-town attics and on the Mississippi, in Silicon Valley and the wheat fields of Kansas, in a black woman's beauty parlor and a Dayton bicycle shop, who set America on a course to attain a standard of living unprecedented in the history of the world.The flourishing of America is the story of an inventive people with a mystic faith in technology, from the early settlers who devised windmills as a way of getting water on the Great Plains to the electronic whiz kids of the Internet. Innovation, practical inventiveness, is the main force behind America's preeminence. But there is more to this extraordinary history. Harold Evans traces how the innovators have time and time again proved to be democratizers, driven not by greed but by an ambition to be remembered. They translated the nation's political ideals into economic reality.Yet many of these heroic contributors have been lost to history. Who fought and fought to make banking available to the common people? Who opened the world of international air travel to the masses? Whose Internet triumph was based on egalitarian ideals? Who put cheap electricity into everyone's homes, and was pursued as a fugitive? Who gave everyman high-quality sound, and was driven to suicide?They Made America is eminently practical; but more than anything, it is history to inspire.


What the Critics Say

Audie Award Finalist, Non-Fiction (abridged), 2005
"Absorbing....A compellingly written...reminder of how much we in 2005 owe to some determined, risk-taking forebears." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Evans's...elegantly written book offers the same breadth and scope as his previous best seller, The American Century....Evans doesn't neglect the latest generation of innovators....[An] exciting survey." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wait for the Unabridged audiobook.

Wait for the Unabridged version because most of the really good stuff was left out when this book was abridged. Unbelievably the Wrighte Brothers, google, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs were left out, and Barbie was left in.. This is a great book! I have the hardback version and I have been enjoying it immensly. I have low vision and even with the screen reader reading is sloww going. I like to use the audio book to keep me going but this abridged version was so badly cut up it was frustrating.
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- Jim


Terrible, superficial summaries of the lives of these "innovators." Clearly, the autor adnires their business sense over their inventiveness. The summaries of their lives suffer a bit (I'd guess) from the abridgement, but seemingly the author rarely goes below the surface of the details of their lives. There is little insight here into the inner lives of the innovators. Worst, the reading is often slurred and difficult to follow. If I didn't know better, I'd guess that the author/ reader was intoxicated during some portions of the reading!
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- Thomas

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-20-2004
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio