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From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris comes a revelatory new biography of Thomas Alva Edison, the most prolific genius in American history.

Although Thomas Alva Edison was the most famous American of his time, and remains an international name today, he is mostly remembered only for the gift of universal electric light. His invention of the first practical incandescent lamp 140 years ago so dazzled the world--already reeling from his invention of the phonograph and dozens of other revolutionary devices--that it cast a shadow over his later achievements. In all, this near-deaf genius ("I haven't heard a bird sing since I was twelve years old") patented 1,093 inventions, not including others, such as the X-ray fluoroscope, that he left unlicensed for the benefit of medicine.

One of the achievements of this staggering new biography, the first major life of Edison in more than twenty years, is that it portrays the unknown Edison--the philosopher, the futurist, the chemist, the botanist, the wartime defense adviser, the founder of nearly 250 companies--as fully as it deconstructs the Edison of mythological memory. Edmund Morris, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, brings to the task all the interpretive acuity and literary elegance that distinguished his previous biographies of Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and Ludwig van Beethoven. A trained musician, Morris is especially well equipped to recount Edison's fifty-year obsession with recording technology and his pioneering advances in the synchronization of movies and sound. Morris sweeps aside conspiratorial theories positing an enmity between Edison and Nikola Tesla and presents proof of their mutually admiring, if wary, relationship.

Enlightened by seven years of research among the five million pages of original documents preserved in Edison's huge laboratory at West Orange, New Jersey, and privileged access to family papers still held in trust, Morris is also able to bring his subject to life on the page--the adored yet autocratic and often neglectful husband of two wives and father of six children. If the great man who emerges from it is less a sentimental hero than an overwhelming force of nature, driven onward by compulsive creativity, then Edison is at last getting his biographical due.

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    Edison Comentarios

  • Matt

    History is full of people whose lives have impacted mine in some form or another. While I have always loved reading biographies, I find particular interest in people whose names I know but whose lives...

  • Jim

    As a boy growing up there was a time when I read the biographies of famous persons. The Wright Brothers. Alexander Graham Bell. And of course Thomas Alva Edison. The books that I read then were geared...

  • Lorna

    Edison by Edmund Morris was a comprehensive and meticulously researched biography of Thomas Alva Edison. While Morris is one of our most esteemed biographers, this was a book that he chose to write in...

  • Faith

    I do not agree with the decision to present Edison’s life in reverse chronology. Maybe I’ll try another biography some day. ...

  • Porter Broyles

    There are certain conventions and norms that one expects when writing a biography. The biography is either going to be written chronologically or (less frequently) thematically. Those are the approach...

  • Casey Cep

    I reviewed this biography of Thomas Edison for "The New Yorker." You can read the review, which takes into account some other writing about him, here:

  • Mary

    “I would say to one particular atom in me—call it atom No. 4320—‘Go and be part of a rose for a while.’ All the atoms could be sent off to become parts of different minerals, plants, and oth...

  • Patricia Romero

    Edmund Morris is the author of the three Theodore Roosevelt biographies as well as the really good Ronald Reagan one. I am very sad to say he passed away just this past May.Thomas Edison was a driven ...

  • Lynndell

    More than just an inventor!Thanks to Amazon Vine, NetGally and Random House Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Edison by Edmund Morris.This eight hundred page book is an interesting rea...

  • Bill Powers

    I read Edison because 1) I have an interest in T. Edison and; 2) I thoroughly enjoyed the Edmund Morris Theodore Roosevelt trilogy. I've seen several reviews that criticized the reverse chronological ...

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