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American inventors, entrepreneurs, and business visionaries
Carey, Charles W.
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Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxi, 410 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
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CT214 .C29 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Arranged in an A-to-Z format, each of the 260 entries in this volume offers a concise description of the subject's significance in the history of technological and entrepreneurial development and gives an account of the subjects life.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

More than 280 individuals from the seventeenth through twentieth centuries who helped change the American economy are profiled here. The author tried to select "people from all categories of American life," including those who made significant contributions yet were never famous as well as superstars. Some well-known names are here: Wally Amos, Dale Carnegie, Conrad Hilton. But how many people recognize Henry Morrison Flagler, who was instrumental in the development of Florida, or Ida Rosenthal, cofounder of the Maidenform Brassiere Company? Though a number founded or led flourishing business enterprises, others, such as George Washington Carver, Philo Farnsworth ("the father of television"), and Nikola Tesla, inventor of the alternating-current electric motor, were failures on the business side. Each entry provides birth date (and death date where applicable), followed by a page or two on the person's life and innovations, and concludes with a brief further reading list. A general bibliography, subject indexes that arrange entries by invention or business type and by year of birth, and a general index complete the volume. This volume is worthy of inclusion in reference collections of public, academic, and high-school libraries. Its content is wide-ranging and its entries provide interesting reading.

Library Journal Review

Revised by Friedman (Education Reform) from the 2002 edition, this biographical dictionary includes profiles of more than 300 individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to American industry dating from the Colonial era to the present. Each entry addresses the subject chronologically through his or her life, focusing on major professional achievements as well as personal triumphs and tragedies. Most entries run between one to three pages in length. The writing is clear and concise, peppered with plenty of colorful anecdotes. Suggestions for further reading follow each entry and include websites, magazine and journal articles, and books. Two additional indexes list entries by invention/business type and by year of birth. The publisher's recommended reading level (grades nine and up) is appropriate. Readers will enjoy finding little-known facts about such famous subjects as Thomas Alva Edison and Alexander Graham Bell as well as more obscure figures like Vito Genovese (an "entrepreneur in organized crime") and Stephanie Louise Kwolek (the inventor of Kevlar). Additions since the 2002 version include Mark Zuckerberg, Jay-Z, Jeff Bezos, and others. BOTTOM LINE The author provides historical context for each individual's achievements, helping readers develop a deeper understanding of his or her impact on American industry. Overall, the book paints a fascinating portrait of American ingenuity. A well-written biographical dictionary that will appeal to anyone interested in the history of American invention and entrepreneurialism.-Jennifer Michaelson, Cleveland (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-The more than 300 entries in this solid work profile individuals whose professional contributions have made an impact on our nations' business landscape, for better or worse; to wit, the inclusion of Ziba Oakes, "entrepreneur in the slave trade." For easier access, or to aid in brainstorming assignment ideas, a header in each entry lists the invention or type of business that the individual created or engaged in, and birth and death dates, where applicable. The work has grown 70 pages over the 2002 edition; additions include music entrepreneur Jay-Z and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who shares the Zs with Vladimir Zworykin, inventor of the first electronic picture tube. What makes this reference source stand out from its peers is Carey's emphasis on nameless heroes in the realms of entrepreneurship and invention. Gertrude Agnes Muller, for example, may not be a household name, but parents can thank her for potty chairs and children's car seats. Further-reading suggestions conclude each profile; a few entries include a black-and-white photograph of the subject. With its eclectic list of visionaries, this work will not only educate, but it will also inspire and entertain.-Christina Connolly, Clark University, Worcester, MA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Part of the "Facts on File Library of American History" series, this volume includes almost 300 essays that effectively capture the history of American invention and entrepreneurship. The author relied heavily on American National Biography and Current Biography as sources. An excellent introduction includes highlights of the history of American entrepreneurship. In addition to the well-known individuals one would expect, the work includes organized crime figures (Al Capone) and purveyors of slaves and prostitution. Interesting profiles present the inventors of such products or innovations as Liquid Paper, the Barbie Doll, mystery shopping, the disposable diaper, Cinerama, and the Maidenform Bra. Entries are categorized by invention or business type and by year. The larger businesses covered include mercantile activity, food products, entertainment, publishing, electrical apparatus, railroads, radio/TV, household/personal products, and computers. Some essays include pictures of the individuals profiled; all provide brief lists of further reading. A concise introduction to American inventors and entrepreneurs, recommended for academic and public libraries. L. Kong California State University, San Bernardino



Inventors, who develop new things with commercial value, and entrepreneurs, who develop new ways to sell things with commercial value, are kindred spirits. In fact, the two go hand in hand, because without the one it would be difficult for the other to exist. Thus it can be said that both inventors and entrepreneurs are business visionaries since both are interested in transforming ideas into money. American Inventors, Entrepreneurs, and Business Visionaries includes the range of people from early inventors who were also entrepreneurs like Thomas Edison up to people today like Bill Gates, as well as the robber barons and their counterparts from other times. This A to Z biographical dictionary contains 260 entries on important Americans from colonial times to the present. Each entry begins with a short description of the person's importance, then the entry provides the person's birth date and information, and proceeds chronologically though his/her life. Suggestions for further reading follow each entry. There is a topical introduction to the book, a bibliography at the end of the book, two subject indexes, and a general index. Excerpted from American Inventors, Entrepreneurs, and Business Visionaries by Charles W. Carey All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.