Reluctant Genius

Reluctant Genius

The Passionate Life and Inventive Mind of Alexander Graham Bell

Book - 2007
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Impeccably researched, and written with Charlotte Gray's unerring eye for personal and historical detail, Reluctant Genius tells the story of a man very different from his public image. Most of us think of Alexander Graham Bell as a white-bearded sage, but the young A lec Bell was a passionate and wild-eyed genius, a man given to fits of brilliance and melancholy. His technologies for photophones, tetrahedrals, flying machines and hydrodomes laid the groundwork for future achievement. And he adored his wife, Mabel, a beautiful, deaf young woman from a blueblood Boston family.

Gray goes where no other writer has gone, delving deeply into Bell's personality and into his intense relationship with Mabel, whose background and temperament were a startling contrast to his own. Reluctant Genius takes us on an intimate journey into the golden age of invention and the vibrant life of a man whose work shaped our world.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, 2007, c2006
Edition: Trade pbk. ed. --
ISBN: 9780006394761
Branch Call Number: 621.385092 Bell-G 3558
Characteristics: 466 p. :,ill., maps
Alternative Title: Alexander Graham Bell


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Very well written. Excellent insights into the era of inventions in the 19th century and to the family life of a Victorian father. I was surprised at the amount of control that Alec's own father had over his son, pushing him to invest time and energy into the father's pet project ( visible speech) and deriding him for wasting time on the telephone invention. Gray also compared Bell's attitude towards social justice and fair play compared to that of Edison and other business men of the day. A fascinating read.

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