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They Made America
By Harold Evans

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They Made America - From the Steam Engine to the Internet Revolution: Two Centuries of Innovators

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They Made America
From the Steam Engine to the Internet Revolution: Two Centuries of Innovators

By Harold Evans
Read by Harold Evans
Time Warner AudioBooks, (2004)
An Abridged Recording on Audio CD
ISBN: 1-58621-706-2
Genre: History, Biography

Reviewed by Simone Bonim - November 9, 2004

They Made America is an intriguing book that highlights the men and women who have stood at the forefront of American technological and innovative advances. In They Made America, Sir Harold Evans offers brief biographical sketches of inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators that revolutionized American society and industry by their creative endeavors. People highlighted range from well-known figures such as Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers to lesser known figures such as Ida Rosenthal and Joan Ganz Cooney. Rosenthal's claim to fame is the Maidenform Bra, and Cooney's the Children's Television Workshop.

Throughout, Evans not only provides intriguing insights into the lives and works of the people mentioned, but he also explains how their contributions served to revolutionize America. Written in an engaging and lively style, Evans will intrigue readers of all ages. His vignettes will inspire and amaze you.

The audio edition of They Made America is read by the author, who has a slight English accent. Evans is a respected historian and author of the bestselling book, The American Century. The vignettes are short and to the point, making this an ideal book to listen to if you only have a few minutes at a time to spend listening. In addition, this book has been published in conjunction with the four part PBS series of the same name, They Made America. In the PBS series, only twelve individuals from the book are profiled. The book itself contains dozens of profiles.

In They Made America, Evans has crafted a wonderfully popular, and engaging history that details two centuries of American innovators, from cultural pioneers such as the creator of the Barbie Doll to the engineer and artist, Robert Fulton, who created of the first, successful, steam boat ferry service. Fulton, who died in 1815, also worked on the development of submarines and torpedoes, as well as having studied art in Paris. In telling the stories of these people, Evans personalizes those profiled by providing tidbits of information about their looks, home life, and lesser known achievements. Better yet, he describes the secrets behind their success, or more often, the accidental discoveries that led to their innovations. In all, a fascinating glimpse at some of the men and women who made, and continue to make, America great.

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