Journals Higher Education



Published: 30 June 2008

288 Pages | 83 halftones

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195341201

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Bookseller Code (06)

How Invention Begins

Echoes of Old Voices in the Rise of New Machines

John H. Lienhard

In How Invention Begins, Lienhard reconciles the ends of invention with the individual leaps upon which they are built, illuminating the vast web of individual inspirations that lie behind whole technologies. He traces, for instance, the way in which thousands of people applied their combined genius to airplanes, trains, and automobiles, revealing how a collective desire, an upwelling of fascination, a spirit of the times--a Zeitgeist--laid its hold upon inventors. The thing they all sought to create was speed itself. Can we speak of speed as an invention? To do so, he concludes, is certainly no greater a stretch than to call the car an "invention."