The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes and the Invention of Twentieth-Century America

By B. Alexandra Szerlip
Read by B. Alexandra Szerlip

16.86 Hours 04/25/2017 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (26Tracks)
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Before there was Steve Jobs, there was Norman Bel Geddes. A ninth-grade dropout who found himself at the center of the worlds of industry, advertising, theater, and even gaming, Bel Geddes designed everything from the first all-weather stadium, to Manhattan’s most exclusive nightclub, to Futurama, the prescient 1939 exhibit that envisioned how America would look in the not-too-distant 1960s. In The Man Who Designed the Future, B. A. Szerlip reveals precisely how central Bel Geddes was to the history of American innovation. He presided over a moment in which theater became immersive, function merged with form, and people became consumers. A polymath with humble Midwestern origins, Bel Geddes was a visionary whose career would launch him into social circles with the Algonquin roundtable members, stars of stage and screen, and titans of industry. Light on its feet but absolutely authoritative, this first major biography of Norman Bel Geddes is a must for anyone who wants to know how America came to look the way it did.

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Summary

Summary

Before there was Steve Jobs, there was Norman Bel Geddes.

A ninth-grade dropout who found himself at the center of the worlds of industry, advertising, theater, and even gaming, Bel Geddes designed everything from the first all-weather stadium, to Manhattan’s most exclusive nightclub, to Futurama, the prescient 1939 exhibit that envisioned how America would look in the not-too-distant 1960s.

In The Man Who Designed the Future, B. A. Szerlip reveals precisely how central Bel Geddes was to the history of American innovation. He presided over a moment in which theater became immersive, function merged with form, and people became consumers. A polymath with humble Midwestern origins, Bel Geddes was a visionary whose career would launch him into social circles with the Algonquin roundtable members, stars of stage and screen, and titans of industry.

Light on its feet but absolutely authoritative, this first major biography of Norman Bel Geddes is a must for anyone who wants to know how America came to look the way it did.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Szerlip’s groundbreaking work places him, expertly, in his time and place: his life and work reflect a national certitude—that the world, and the future, is ours for the making.” John Crowley, World Fantasy Award–winning author of Little, Big

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: B. Alexandra Szerlip

B. Alexandra Szerlip is an author who has been a two-time National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellow, runner-up for London’s Lothian Prize for a first biography-in-progress (the first American finalist in the Lothian’s then-eleven-year history), and a recent Yaddo and US Artists fellow. A chapter from her manuscript of The Man Who Designed the Future appeared in The Paris Review and another chapter in McSweeney’s, which was translated into French and was nominated for inclusion in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Best Essays of 2012.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Technology & Engineering
Runtime: 16.86
Audience: Adult
Language: English