The inventor's creative drive is usually regarded as an inimitable fluke found only in geniuses, but what if it were a mindset anyone could cultivate and exploit? Schwartz (The Last Lone Inventor) believes that it is, and lists a series of principles illustrated by the work of various inventors, from historical figures like Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison to modern examples like Dean Kamen, the developer of the Segway. Though these tales are amiable and straightforward, the lessons he draws from them are overwhelmingly generic, along the lines of spotting opportunities others have overlooked and taking advantage of happy accidents. Meanwhile, stories about researchers turning algae into an alternative fuel source or creating speakerless sound systems that use ultrasonic waves for pinpoint audiocasting make invention look like something that occurs under unique circumstances or requires a high degree of specialized knowledge. Readers who are strictly interested in true tales of science, however, may be attracted by the diversity of Schwartz's role models.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2004 Release date: 09/01/2004 Genre: Nonfiction