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Random House
02 February 2021
From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris comes a revelatory new biography of Thomas Alva Edison, the most prolific genius in American history.

Edison was arguably the most famous man in the world when he died in 1931, so revered for his perfection of the incandescent light bulb that President Hoover proposed darkening the entire United States for one minute on the night of his funeral. For the rest of the twenieth century, Edison's image-polished by his additional fame as the inventor of the phonograph, the Kinetoscope moving-picture camera, and the rechargable alkaline battery-solidified into marble, cold to the touch and impossible to penetrate. The man who once was jovial flesh, overwhelmingly charismatic despite the handicap of deafness, the lover of two wives and father of six children, the mogul who built up no fewer than 120 companies, the creator of the world's first research and development park, is now little understood, even though his name is still one of the most cited in the history of science and technology.

Edmund Morris has spent seven years exploring the prodigious, five-million-page archive of papers preserved under a bombproof concrete shell at the inventor's laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey-an archive supplemented by thousands of audio and film records and artifacts. In the process he has not only resurrected Edison, literarily speaking, as a human being, but as a polymath of staggering variety - Edison the botanist, the naval strategist, the iron miner, the chemist and telegrapher and audio producer and publisher. From age twelve onward, Edison was an open floodgate of what he modestly called new things, inventing the electric pen, the carbon telephone transmitter, the X-ray fluoroscope, the world's first film studio, earbuds, talkie movies, voice-activated motors, audio mail, the miner's safety lamp, a night telescope, tornado-proof houses, quadruplex telegraphy, and countless other innovations.

This extraordinary new biography is a full portrait of a towering figure in American history, written by one of our most accomplished and respected biographers.

Story Locale- Milan, OH; Port Huron, MI; New York, NY; Menlo Park, NJ; West Orange, NJ; Fort Myers, FL
By:   Edmund Morris
Imprint:   Random House
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm,  Spine: 1mm
Weight:   1g
ISBN:   9780812983210
ISBN 10:   0812983211
Pages:   800
Publication Date:   02 February 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Edmund Morris was born and educated in Kenya and attended college in South Africa. He worked as an advertising copywriter in London before immigrating to the United States in 1968. His first book, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1980. Its sequel, Theodore Rex, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography in 2001. In between these two books, Morris became President Reagan's authorized biographer and wrote the national bestseller Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan. He then completed his trilogy on the life of the twenty-sixth president with Colonel Roosevelt, also a bestseller, and has published Beethoven: The Universal Composer and This Living Hand and Other Essays. Edison is his final work of biography. He was married to fellow biographer Sylvia Jukes Morris for fifty-two years. Edmund Morris died in 2019.

Reviews for Edison

Praise for the Biographies of Edmund Morris The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt Winner of the Pulitzer Prize One of those rare works that is both definitive for the period it covers and fascinating to read for sheer entertainment. -The New York Times Book Review A towering biography. -Time Theodore Rex A masterpiece . . . A great president has finally found a great biographer. -The Washington Post As a literary work on Theodore Roosevelt, it is unlikely ever to be surpassed. It is one of the great histories of the American presidency, worthy of being on a shelf alongside Henry Adams's volumes on Jefferson and Madison. -The Times Literary Supplement Colonel Roosevelt Monumental . . . Morris is a stylish storyteller with an irresistible subject. -The New York Times Book Review Hair-raising . . . awe-inspiring . . . a worthy close to a trilogy sure to be regarded as one of the best studies not just of any president, but of any American. -San Francisco Chronicle


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