TECHNOLOGY: American Ingenuity: Still Going Strong

The nations of Europe, Asia and Africa mostly owe their existences to accidents of geography or language, the fortunes of war or interference from imperial powers. But the U.S., to a very great extent, is the product of its citizens' own ingenuity. Faced with an untamed wilderness and distances their European forebears could barely comprehend, the settlers who came to colonize the new land responded by becoming a nation of tinkerers, backyard inventors and, ultimately, technologists. Now, lacking a wilderness but confronted with challenges as great as those faced by their ancestors,...

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