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  1. 16.6 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    How a historic race gave birth to private space flight Alone in a Spartan black cockpit, test pilot Mike Melvill rocketed toward space. He had eighty seconds to exceed the speed of sound and begin the climb to a target no civilian pilot had ever reached. He might not make it back alive. If he did, he would make history as the world’s first commercial astronaut. The spectacle defied reason, the result of a competition dreamed up by entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, whose vision for a new race to space required small teams to do what only the world’s largest governments had done before. Peter Diamandis was the son of hardworking immigrants who wanted their science prodigy to make the family proud and become a doctor. But from the age of eight, when he watched Apollo 11 land on the Moon, his singular goal was to get to space. When he realized NASA was winding down manned space flight, Diamandis set out on one of the great entrepreneurial adventure stories of our time. If the government wouldn’t send him to space, he would create a private space flight industry himself. In the 1990s, this idea was the stuff of science fiction. Undaunted, Diamandis found inspiration in an unlikely place: the golden age of aviation. He discovered that Charles Lindbergh made his transatlantic flight to win a $25,000 prize. The flight made Lindbergh the most famous man on earth and galvanized the airline industry. Why, Diamandis thought, couldn’t the same be done for space flight? The story of the bullet-shaped SpaceShipOne, and the other teams in the hunt, is an extraordinary tale of making the impossible possible. It is driven by outsized characters—Burt Rutan, Richard Branson, John Carmack, Paul Allen—and obsessive pursuits. In the end, as Diamandis dreamed, the result wasn’t just a victory for one team; it was the foundation for a new industry. Today, SpaceShipOne hangs in the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, flanked by the Apollo 11 capsule and Lindbergh’s The Spirit of St. Louis.

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    How to Make a Spaceship

    Foreword by Elon Musk
    Read by Rob Shapiro
    16.6 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    Tracy Kidder, the “master of the nonfiction narrative” (Baltimore Sun) and author of the bestselling classics Mountains Beyond Mountains, Strength in What Remains, and The Soul of a New Machine, now gives us the inspiring story of an American maverick.   Fortune, mania, genius—Paul English is a kinetic and generous man, an unconventional inventor and entrepreneur, who as a boy rebelled against authority. But he had a mind for the age that was coming.   Growing up as a bright boy in working-class Boston, English discovers a medium for his talents the first time he sees a computer. As a young man, despite suffering from what will later be diagnosed as bipolar disorder, he begins his pilgrim’s journey through the ups and downs in the brave new world of computers. Relating to the Internet as if it’s an extension of his own mind, he discovers that he has a gift for building creative teams of people, becoming a pied piper of geeks. His innovative management style, success, and innate sense of fair play inspire intense loyalty. Early on, one colleague observes: “Someday this boy’s going to get hit by a truck full of money, and I’m going to be standing beside him.” Yet when English makes a fortune as co-founder of the travel website Kayak.com, the first thing he thinks about is how to give it away. “What else would you do with it?” he asks. Money, after all, is meant to be moved. “Hoarding it is a disaster, because it goes against what money was created for.” The second thing he thinks is, what’s next?   With the power of a consummate storyteller, Tracy Kidder casts a fresh, critical, and often humorous eye on the way new inventions and new money are reshaping our culture. A Truck Full of Money is a mesmerizing portrait of an irresistibly endearing man who is indefatigable, original, and as unpredictable as America itself.

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    A Truck Full of Money

    9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 6.6 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    This real-life The X-Files and Close Encounters of the Third Kind tells the true story of a computer programmer who tracks paranormal events along a 3,000-mile stretch through the heart of America and is drawn deeper and deeper into a vast conspiracy. Like “Agent Mulder” of The X-Files, computer programmer and sheriff’s deputy Zukowski is obsessed with tracking down UFO reports in Colorado. He would take the family with him on weekend trips to look for evidence of aliens. But this innocent hobby takes on a sinister urgency when Zukowski learns of mutilated livestock, and sees the bodies of dead horses and cattle—whose exsanguination is inexplicable by any known human or animal means. Along an expanse of land stretching across the southern borders of Utah, Colorado, and Kansas, Zukowski discovers multiple bizarre incidences of mutilations, and suddenly realizes that they cluster around the 37th Parallel or “UFO Highway.” So begins an extraordinary and fascinating journey from El Paso and Rush, Colorado, to a mysterious space studies company and MUFON, from Roswell and Area 51 to the Pentagon and beyond; to underground secret military caverns and Indian sacred sites; beneath strange, unexplained lights in the sky and into corporations that obstruct and try to take over investigations. Inspiring and terrifying, this true story will keep you up at night, staring at the sky, and wondering if we really are alone…and what could happen next.

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    The 37th Parallel

    6.6 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 1.1 hrs • 8/17/2016 • Unabridged

    Sidelights on Relativity contains Ether and The Theory of Relativity, an address delivered on May 5th, 1920, in the University of Leyden; and Geometry and Experience, an expanded form of an address to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin on January 27th, 1921. Written clearly and concisely, these lectures are a fascinating audiobook for both scientist and layman. About the Author Albert Einstein (1879 1955) was born in Germany and became an American citizen in 1940. A world-famous theoretical physicist, he was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics and is renowned for his Theory of Relativity. In addition to his scientific work, Einstein was an influential humanist who spoke widely about politics, ethics, and social causes. After leaving Europe, Einstein taught at Princeton University. His theories were instrumental in shaping the atomic age.

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    Sidelights on Relativity

    1.1 hrs • 8/17/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 5.8 hrs • 4/5/2016 • Unabridged

    Everywhere he goes, crowds gather to meet Buzz Aldrin. He’s a world-class hero, a larger-than-life figurehead, and the best known of a generation of astronauts whose achievements surged in just a few years from first man in space to first men on the moon. Now he pauses to reflect and share what he has learned, from the vantage point not only of outer space but also of time: still a nonstop traveler and impassioned advocate for space exploration, Aldrin will be eighty-six in 2016. No Dream Is Too High whittles down Buzz Aldrin’s event-filled life into a short list of the principles he values, each illustrated by fascinating anecdotes and memories, such as:Second comes right after first. NASA protocol should have placed Buzz Aldrin on the moon first, but rules changed just before the mission. Buzz discusses how he learned to be proud of being the second man on the moon.Look for opportunities, not obstacles. Buzz was rejected the first time he applied to be an astronaut. Failure is an opportunity to learn to do better.Always maintain your spirit of adventure. For his eightieth birthday, Buzz went diving in the Galapagos and hitched a ride on a whale shark. He stays fit, energetic, and fascinated with life. No Dream Is Too High is a beautiful memento, a thought-provoking set of ideas, and a new opportunity for Buzz Aldrin to connect with the masses of people who recognize his unique place in human history.

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    No Dream Is Too High by Buzz Aldrin

    No Dream Is Too High

    By Buzz Aldrin, with Ken Abraham
    Read by Traber Burns
    5.8 hrs • 4/5/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 9.8 hrs • 4/5/2016 • Unabridged

    The riveting true story of the women who launched America into space. In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn’t turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible. For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women—known as “human computers”—who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we’ve been, and the far reaches of space to which we’re heading.

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    Rise of the Rocket Girls

    9.8 hrs • 4/5/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
    7.8 hrs • 2/9/2016 • Unabridged

    By the end of World War I, Albert Einstein had become the face of the new science of theoretical physics and had made some powerful enemies. One of those enemies, Nobel Prize winner Philipp Lenard, spent a career trying to discredit him. Their story of conflict, pitting Germany’s most widely celebrated Jew against the Nazi scientist who was to become Hitler’s chief advisor on physics, had an impact far exceeding what the scientific community felt at the time. Indeed, their mutual antagonism affected the direction of science long after 1933, when Einstein took flight to America and changed the history of two nations. The Man Who Stalked Einstein details the tense relationship between Einstein and Lenard, their ideas and actions, during the eventful period between World War I and World War II.

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    The Man Who Stalked Einstein by Bruce J. Hillman, Birgit Ertl-Wagner, Bernd C. Wagner

    The Man Who Stalked Einstein

    7.8 hrs • 2/9/16 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
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  8. 6.8 hrs • 12/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Employing intuitive ideas from mathematics, this quirky “meta-memoir” raises questions about our lives that most of us don’t think to ask but arguably should: What part of memory is reliable fact, what part creative embellishment? Which favorite presuppositions are unfounded, which statistically biased? By conjoining two opposing mindsets—the suspension of disbelief required in storytelling and the skepticism inherent in the scientific method—bestselling mathematician John Allen Paulos has created an unusual hybrid, a composite of personal memories and mathematical approaches to reevaluating them. Entertaining vignettes from Paulos’ biography abound—ranging from a bullying math teacher and a fabulous collection of baseball cards to romantic crushes, a grandmother’s petty larceny, and his quite unintended role in getting George Bush elected president in 2000. These vignettes serve as springboards to many telling perspectives: simple arithmetic puts life-long habits in a dubious new light; higher dimensional geometry helps us see that we’re all rather peculiar; nonlinear dynamics explains the narcissism of small differences cascading into very different siblings; logarithms and exponentials yield insight on why we tend to become bored and jaded as we age; and there are tricks and jokes, probability and coincidences, and much more. For fans of Paulos or newcomers to his work, this witty commentary on his life—and yours—is fascinating listening.

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    A Numerate Life by John Allen Paulos

    A Numerate Life

    6.8 hrs • 12/1/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 8.8 hrs • 11/3/2015 • Unabridged

    A sterling roster of natural and social scientists in conversation with top-flight journalist Stefan Klein—shedding new light on their work, their lives, and what they still hope to discover When acclaimed science writer Stefan Klein asks Nobel Prize–winning chemist Roald Hoffmann what sets scientists apart, Hoffmann says, “First and foremost, curiosity.” In this collection of intimate conversations with nineteen of the world’s best-known scientists (including three Nobel Laureates), Klein lets us listen in as today’s leading minds reveal what they still hope to discover—and how their paradigm-changing work entwines with their lives outside the lab. From the sports car that physicist Steven Weinberg says helped him on his quest for “the theory of everything” to the jazz musicians who gave psychologist Alison Gopnik new insight into raising children, these scientists explain how they find inspiration everywhere. Hear from renowned scientists including: evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on selfishness,anthropologist Sarah Hrdy on motherhood,primatologist Jane Goodall on animal behavior,neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran on consciousness,geographer Jared Diamond on chance in history, andmany other luminaries.

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    We Are All Stardust by Stefan Klein

    We Are All Stardust

    Translated by Ross Benjamin
    8.8 hrs • 11/3/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    14.1 hrs • 11/3/2015 • Unabridged

    Two ambitious men. One historic mission. With a blinding flash in the New Mexico desert in the summer of 1945, the world was changed forever. The bomb that ushered in the atomic age was the product of one of history’s most improbable partnerships. The General and the Genius reveals how two extraordinary men pulled off the greatest scientific feat of the twentieth century. Leslie Richard Groves of the Army Corps of Engineers, who had made his name by building the Pentagon in record time and under budget, was made overlord of the impossibly vast scientific enterprise known as the Manhattan Project. His mission: to beat the Nazis to the atomic bomb. So he turned to the nation’s preeminent theoretical physicist, J. Robert Oppenheimer—the chain-smoking, martini-quaffing son of wealthy Jewish immigrants, whose background was riddled with communist associations—Groves’ opposite in nearly every respect. In their three-year collaboration, the iron-willed general and the visionary scientist led a brilliant team in a secret mountaintop lab and built the fearsome weapons that ended the war but introduced the human race to unimaginable new terrors. And at the heart of this most momentous work of World War II is the story of two extraordinary men—the general and the genius.

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    The General and the Genius by James Kunetka

    The General and the Genius

    14.1 hrs • 11/3/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
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  11. 9.8 hrs • 10/27/2015 • Unabridged

    Soon to be a major motion picture starring Will Smith, Concussion is the riveting, unlikely story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who made one of the most significant medical discoveries of the twenty-first century, a discovery that challenges the existence of America’s favorite sport and puts Omalu in the crosshairs of football’s most powerful corporation: the NFL. In September of 2002, in a dingy morgue in downtown Pittsburgh, a young forensic neuropathologist named Bennet Omalu picked up a scalpel and made a discovery that would rattle America in ways he never intended. Omalu was new to America, chasing the dream, a deeply spiritual man escaping the wounds of civil war in Nigeria. The body on the slab in front of him belonged to a fifty-year-old named Mike Webster—aka “Iron Mike”—a Hall of Fame center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the greatest to ever play the game. After retiring in 1990, Webster had suffered a dizzyingly steep decline. Toward the end of his life, he was living out of his van, Tasering himself to relieve his chronic pain, and fixing his rotting teeth with Super Glue. How did this happen? Omalu asked himself. How did a young man like Mike Webster end up like this? The search for answers would change Omalu’s life forever and put him in the crosshairs of one of the most powerful corporations in America: the National Football League. What Omalu discovered in Mike Webster’s brain—proof that his mental deterioration was no accident, but a disease, caused by relentless blows to the head, that could affect everyone playing the game—was the one truth the NFL would do anything to keep secret. Taut, gripping, and gorgeously told, Concussion is the stirring true story of one unlikely man’s courageous decision to stand up to a multibillion-dollar colossus bent on silencing him, and to tell the world the truth.

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    Concussion

    9.8 hrs • 10/27/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 13.9 hrs • 9/29/2015 • Unabridged

    In this hugely entertaining sequel to the New York Times bestselling memoir An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins delves deeply into his intellectual life spent kick-starting new conversations about science, culture, and religion and writing yet another of the most audacious and widely read books of the twentieth century—The God Delusion. Called “one of the best nonfiction writers alive today” (Stephen Pinker) and a “prize-fighter” (Nature), Richard Dawkins cheerfully and mischievously, looks back on a lifetime of tireless intellectual adventure and engagement. Exploring the halls of intellectual inquiry and stardom he encountered after the publication of his seminal work, The Selfish Gene; affectionately lampooning the world of academia, publishing, and television; and studding the pages with funny stories about the great men and women he’s known, Dawkins offers a candid look at the events and ideas that encouraged him to shift his attention to the intersection of culture, religion, and science. He also invites the reader to look more closely at the brilliant succession of ten influential books that grew naturally out of his busy life, highlighting the ideas that connect them and excavating their origins. On the publication of his tenth book, the smash hit, The God Delusion, a “resounding trumpet blast for truth” (Matt Ridley), Richard Dawkins was catapulted from mere intellectual stardom into a circle of celebrity thinkers dubbed, “The New Atheists”—including Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. Throughout A Brief Candle in the Dark, Dawkins shares with us his infectious sense of wonder at the natural world, his enjoyment of the absurdities of human interaction, and his bracing awareness of life’s brevity: all of which have made a deep imprint on our culture.

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    Brief Candle in the Dark

    13.9 hrs • 9/29/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    14.8 hrs • 7/7/2015 • Unabridged

    From a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and Los Angeles Times contributor, the untold story of how science went “big,” built the bombs that helped win World War II, and became dependent on government and industry—and the forgotten genius who started it all, Ernest Lawrence. Since the 1930s, the scale of scientific endeavors has grown exponentially. Machines have become larger, ambitions bolder. The first particle accelerator cost less than one hundred dollars and could be held in its creator’s palm, while its descendant, the Large Hadron Collider, cost ten billion dollars and is seventeen miles in circumference. Scientists have invented nuclear weapons, put a man on the moon, and examined nature at the subatomic scale—all through Big Science, the industrial-scale research paid for by governments and corporations that have driven the great scientific projects of our time. The birth of Big Science can be traced to Berkeley, California, nearly nine decades ago, when a resourceful young scientist with a talent for physics and an even greater talent for promotion pondered his new invention and declared, “I’m going to be famous!” Ernest Orlando Lawrence’s cyclotron would revolutionize nuclear physics, but that was only the beginning of its impact. It would change our understanding of the basic building blocks of nature. It would help win World War II. Its influence would be felt in academia and international politics. It was the beginning of Big Science. This is the incredible story of how one invention changed the world and of the man principally responsible for it all. Michael Hiltzik tells the riveting full story here for the first time.

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    Big Science

    14.8 hrs • 7/7/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 9.9 hrs • 6/15/2015 • Unabridged

    Sir Thomas Browne (1605–1682) was an English writer, physician, and philosopher whose work has inspired everyone form Ralph Waldo Emerson to Jorge Luis Borges, Virginia Woolf to Stephen Jay Gould. In an intellectual adventure akin to Sarah Bakewell’s book on Montaigne, How to Live, Hugh Aldersey-Williams sets off not just to tell the story of Browne’s life but also to champion his skeptical nature and inquiring mind for our own age. Mixing botany, etymology, medicine, and literary history, Aldersey-Williams journeys in his hero’s footsteps to introduce us to witches, zealots, natural wonders, and fabulous creatures of Browne’s time and ours. He reveals how Browne’s preoccupations—how to disabuse the credulous of their foolish beliefs, what to make of order in natures, how to unite science and religion—are relevant today. In Search of Sir Thomas Browne is more than just a biography―it is a cabinet of wonders and an argument that Browne, standing at the very gates of modern science, remains an inquiring mind for our own time. As Stephen Greenblatt has written, Browne is “unnervingly one of our most adventurous contemporaries.”

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    In Search of Sir Thomas Browne

    9.9 hrs • 6/15/15 • Unabridged
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  15. 0 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5
    13.4 hrs • 5/19/2015 • Unabridged

    In the spirit of Steve Jobs and Moneyball, Elon Musk is both an illuminating and authorized look at the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting, unpredictable, and ambitious entrepreneurs—a real-life Tony Stark—and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new “makers.” In Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley’s most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur’s journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent over forty hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to three hundred people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk’s world-changing companies—PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity—and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way. Vance uses Musk’s story to explore one of the pressing questions of our time: can the nation of inventors and creators that led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk—one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history—is a contemporary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science fiction. Thorough and insightful, Elon Musk brings to life a technology industry that is rapidly and dramatically changing by examining the life of one of its most powerful and influential titans.

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    Elon Musk

    13.4 hrs • 5/19/15 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5
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  16. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    8.1 hrs • 5/19/2015 • Unabridged

    Firebrand conservative columnist, commentator, Internet entrepreneur, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Michelle Malkin tells the fascinating, little-known stories of the inventors who have contributed to American exceptionalism and technological progress. In July 2012 President Obama infamously proclaimed, “If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Malkin wholeheartedly disagrees. Who Built That is a rousing tribute to the hidden American capitalists who pioneered everyday inventions. They’re the little big things we take for granted: bottle caps and glassware, door hinges and staples, tissue paper, flashlights, railroad signals, rotary printing presses, bridge cables, and more. Malkin takes listeners on an eclectic journey of American capitalism, from the colonial period to the Industrial Age, to the present, spotlighting awe-inspiring and little-known “tinkerpreneurs” who achieved their dreams of doing well by doing good. You’ll learn how Paul Revere became America’s first tech titan; how famous patent holders Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain championed the nation’s unique system of intellectual property rights; how glass manufacturing mavericks Edward Libbey and Mike Owens defied naysayers to revolutionize food, beverage, and pharmaceutical packaging; how penniless Croatian immigrant Anthony Maglica started his $400 million Maglite flashlight business in a rented garage; and many more riveting stories that explain our country’s fertile climate for scientific advancement and entrepreneurship. To understand who we are as people, we need to first understand what motivates America’s ordinary and extraordinary makers and risk-takers. Driven by her own experience as a second-generation beneficiary of the American Dream, Malkin skillfully and passionately rebuts collectivist orthodoxy to celebrate the engineers, mechanics, designers, artisans, and relentless tinkerers of all backgrounds who embody our nation’s spirit of self-made entrepreneurialism.

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    Who Built That

    8.1 hrs • 5/19/15 • Unabridged
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