Download They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine - Two Centuries of Innovators Audiobook

They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine - Two Centuries of Innovators Audiobook, by Harold Evans Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Harold Evans, Gail Buckland, David Lefer Narrator: Harold Evans Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2005 ISBN: 9781594831454
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There has never been a history of America like Harold Evans's long-awaited They Made America. With the verve and cogency that made his American Century an acclaimed best seller, Evans tells the epic story of the men and women who made America over two centuries.The workshop revolutionaries who made our world have never had the attention afforded the political revolutionaries who founded this nation. But it has been these innovators, in small-town attics and on the Mississippi, in Silicon Valley and the wheat fields of Kansas, in a black woman's beauty parlor and a Dayton bicycle shop, who set America on a course to attain a standard of living unprecedented in the history of the world.

The flourishing of America is the story of an inventive people with a mystic faith in technology, from the early settlers who devised windmills as a way of getting water on the Great Plains to the electronic whiz kids of the Internet. Innovation, practical inventiveness, is the main force behind America's preeminence. But there is more to this extraordinary history. Harold Evans traces how the innovators have time and time again proved to be democratizers, driven not by greed but by an ambition to be remembered. They translated the nation's political ideals into economic reality.

Yet many of these heroic contributors have been lost to history. Who fought and fought to make banking available to the common people? Who opened the world of international air travel to the masses? Whose Internet triumph was based on egalitarian ideals? Who put cheap electricity into everyone's homes, and was pursued as a fugitive? Who gave everyman high-quality sound, and was driven to suicide?

They Made America is eminently practical; but more than anything, it is history to inspire.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Terrific and inspiring stories about the dreamers and doors who dared to create the modern face of this great nation.”

    Jack Welch

  • “With energy and brilliance, Harold Evans brings to life America’s business geniuses. It’s a wonderful cast of famous and delightfully obscure innovators, ranging from Thomas Edison to Ted Turner. They Made America is so good that Evans deserves a place in it for the energy and innovation he has brought to the business of celebrating history and ideas.”

    Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

  • “With his keen analytic intelligence and gift for absorbing storytelling, Harold Evans has given us a brilliant, accessible, and original book about the innovators who truly shaped the way we live now. It is a historic and important work that sheds light on that most elusive of qualities: the mystery of genius.”

    Jon Meacham, New York Times bestselling author of Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

  • “Absorbing…Read just a few of these portraits and you begin to become dismayed at what you yourself have accomplished in your time on the planet: that is, comparatively nothing. Certainly nothing that compares with the lasting transformations wrought by Samuel Insull (who put cheap electricity into many thousands of homes) or Samuel Morse (whose telegraph liberated communication from the constraints of geography). It’s enough to make you throw the book down and plunge headlong into the development of time travel or climate control or antiaging pills—anything that might result in a legacy with some heft to it.”

    New York Times

  • “In his second large-format book about US history, Evans extolls American moxie, that seemingly native mixture of initiative and luck that produced the Colt revolver, the FM radio, the Kodak camera, Mickey Mouse, and eBay. As a historian, Evans is less concerned with the inventive spark itself than with how it finds capital and markets. This approach allows fresh insights into familiar stories; we know that the Wright brothers flew, but not, perhaps, how they flirted with the French before selling their machine to the US government. Evans favors ‘democratizers’ who generated affordable mass culture; Henry Ford is his paragon. In the current era, he focuses on the ferment of Silicon Valley, as embodied by such innovators as Larry Page, the Google cofounder, who marvels that more people don’t work in technology, because ‘that’s the easiest way to change the world.’”

    New Yorker

  • “About as far from fast food as a coffee-table book can be: quirky and satisfying from the first chapter to the last sidebar.”

    Washington Post

  • “Elegantly written…His spotlight is on the true American: the aristocracy of strategic visionaries, creative risk takers and entrepreneurial adventurers thriving in their natural environment, the free-market democracy of the United States.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff | 1/5/2013

    " This is an awesome bedtime reading book for parents with big kids. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zachary | 11/9/2011

    " My favorite book on American History thus far, aside from anything written by John Dos Passos that is. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 bryan | 3/13/2011

    " Think of it as The Rest of the Story for the New Yorker set. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zachary | 8/31/2010

    " My favorite book on American History thus far, aside from anything written by John Dos Passos that is. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 bryan | 2/14/2007

    " Think of it as The Rest of the Story for the New Yorker set. "

About the Author

Author Harold Evans

Harold Evans, the author of The American Century and They Made America, is a celebrated historian and journalist. He was the editor of the Sunday Times for fourteen years before coming to America in 1984. He is the founding editor of Condé Nast Traveler, editorial director and vice chairman of U.S. News & World Report, the Atlantic magazine, Fast Company, and the New York Daily News. In 2002, Britain’s journalists voted Evans the greatest British newspaper editor of all time. He was knighted in Queen Elizabeth’s 2004 New Year honors list.