Saturday, January 22, 2005
The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > 'They Made America': 1 Percent Inspiration, 99 Percent Marketing
The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > 'They Made America': 1 Percent Inspiration, 99 Percent Marketing: "In ''They Made America,'' Sir Harold, the historian, publisher and journalist, follows up his 1998 volume, ''The American Century,'' with absorbing profiles of Americans whose inventiveness and industriousness changed the way human beings live. 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 anti-aging pills -- anything that might result in a legacy with some heft to it."