Reluctant genius: Alexander Graham Bell and the passion for invention

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Arcade Pub., 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 466 pages
3 Reviews
The popular image of Alexander Graham Bell shows an elderly American patriarch, memorable only for his paunch, his Santa Claus beard, and the invention of the telephone. In this magisterial reassessment, based on thorough new research, acclaimed biographer Charlotte Gray reveals Bell's wide-ranging passion for invention and delves into the private life that supported his genius. The child of a speech therapist and a deaf mother, and possessed of superbly acute hearing, Bell developed an early interest in sound. His understanding of how sound waves might relate to electrical waves enabled him to invent the "talking telegraph" before his rivals, even as he undertook a tempestuous courtship of the woman who would become his wife and mainstay. In an intensely competitive age, Bell seemed to shun fame and fortune. Yet many of his innovations-electric heating, using light to transmit sound, electronic mail, composting toilets, the artificial lung-were far ahead of their time. His pioneering ideas about sound, flight, genetics, and even the engineering of complex structures such as stadium roofs still resonate today.

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User Review  - jrcovey - LibraryThing

I first encountered this book in the gift shop of the AGB national historic site in Baddeck, and had finished reading it within 24 hours. I can't imagine a more lively and readable account of the life ... Read full review

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User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

At the end of the book, the author says she set out to write a biography not just about Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor, but about the man and his family life. She certainly accomplished her goal ... Read full review

Contents

The Great White Plague 18471870
1
The Backwoods of Canada 1870
21
Boston Bound 18711874
30
Copyright

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References to this book

Alexander Graham Bell
Biographiq
Limited preview - 2008

About the author (2006)

Charlotte Gray, a historian, biographer, teacher, columnist, and radio and television commentator, is one of Canada's best known and most highly respected writers. She has written five bestsellers and won numerous awards for her work. She lives in Ottawa.

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