Books: Giver of Light

EDISON (511 pp.)—Matthew Josephson—McGraw-Hill ($6.95).

Thomas Alva Edison's pet hates were "small-brained" capitalists and "bulge-head" professors. He disliked capitalists because they never put enough money into his proliferating inventions, and professors because they ridiculed his nearly total ignorance of algebra. Said Edison: "I can hire mathematicians at $15 a week, but they can't hire me."

Edison became the world symbol of Yankee ingenuity and looked and acted the part. Moonfaced, with a lock of hair flopping across his brow and a plug of chewing tobacco in his cheek (instead of a spittoon, he would...

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