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The Wizard of Menlo Park


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About the Author

RANDALL STROSS is the author of five previous books, including eBoys and Steve Jobs & the Next Big Thing.


Seventy-five years after his death, Thomas Edison remains a fascinating personality in U.S. history. He was a figure of many contradictions. A prolific inventor, he would abandon projects when his interest flagged but stick stubbornly to others beyond a reasonable amount of time; he was also a businessman with rather poor business judgment, a distinctive individual who held some obnoxious views, a deaf man who could be cagy and insightful about handling people and the press, and a family man who was for most of his life a solitary figure until befriending many celebrities later in life. Stross (business history, San Jose State Univ.; Steve Jobs and the Next Big Thing) comes to this complex person with a singular purpose. He wants to credit Edison "with another, no less important, discovery related to celebrity that he made early in his own public life, accidentally; the application of celebrity to business." In successfully accomplishing this objective, he earns this title a place on the shelves of all large collections and history of science collections. Readers desiring a more thoroughgoing picture of Edison are better served by Neil Baldwin's Edison: Inventing the Century.-Michael D. Cramer, Schwarz BioSciences, RTP, NC Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"In The Wizard of Menlo Park, [Stross] makes a fascinating and altogether contemporary contribution to our understanding of an iconic American figure."
-Los Angeles Times

"Randall Stross once again reveals a keen eye for the hidden details and forgotten nuances in the lives of great men. His re-creation of the life and achievements of Thomas Edison will become the standard reference to which all historians will turn for years to come. And yet the book is written with a flair for observation that reads more like a great mystery novel than your standard biography. A must-read!"
-Roderick Kramer, William R. Kimball Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Business School, Stanford University

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