7/1/05 Science Books & Films
This book tells several stories. First, there is the story of Thomas Edison and his creative, fertile mind. Next, there is the story of the actual development of the first practical light bulb. In this way, Edison was more like a proto-Bill Gates, bringing technological advances to the public at large. Then there is the story of the process of invention and entrepreneurship. Edison was a businessman, and his genius extended well beyond the laboratory. Accordingly, in order to profit from this invention, Edison developed the infrastructure to support the light bulb. Thus, this is also a story of how societal needs are by advances in science and technology. The story is a very timely one: Today, attempts to advance electric, hydrogen or other alternative-fueled automobiles are being hampered by a variety of problems, on of which is the absence of an infrastructure to support these vehicles. Finally, there is the story of the implications of Edison's work: how bringing safe, cheap artificial light has changed the way we work and play. This is a very well written book that can appeal to readers on several levels.