Title: Inventors & Imposters: A Sordid History of Innovation & Imitation by Daniel Diehl and Mark P. Donnelly
Genre: Historical Non-Fiction/Inventions
Publisher: Veritas (Ravenswood Publishing)
Page count: 236 pages
Publication Date: May 1, 2015
Rating – 4/5
What if everything you learned in school about the heroes of science, technology and invention was a lie?
What if Tom Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb? What if the Wright brothers weren’t the first men to fly? What if Marconi didn’t invent the radio, or Watt the steam engine, or Bell the telephone, or Henry ford the production line? What if Columbus didn’t really discover America, or Darwin the concept of evolution, or Watson and Crick the existence of DNA?
Well, brace yourself, because none of these people did what the history books credit them with having done. Were they all thieves and liars? Was it all a huge mistake? Was it some gigantic conspiracy? How did all these people become famous for things they didn’t do?
In fourteen gripping, true stories Daniel Diehl and Mark P. Donnelly dig deep into the past and lay bare the facts about who really invented what and why somebody else got the glory.
This is historical fact that reads like the best fiction – easy to read and impossible to put down.
Happy Sunday Fun-day everyone and welcome to my stop on the tour for Investors & Imposters: A Sordid History of Innovation & Imitation. I want to say a big thank you to the authors Daniel Diehl & Mark P. Donnelly, as well as Ravenswood Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this book for an honest review!
Investors & Imposters is a nonfiction title that features fourteen chapters (one chapter for each invention) that discuss no nonsense facts about inventions and their true and not-so-true inventors.
I gave this book a four star rating because I really liked it and enjoyed reading it. It’s a very short read but what it lacks in length it delivers in substance. Much to the chagrin of my younger self, my adult self discovered a fascination with non fiction in college. Since then I’m always looking for quality non-fiction to sink my teeth into and this is one of those non-fiction titles that I’m glad I came across and will probably purchase and return to in the future.
Investors & Imposters was really interesting and I felt like I learned alot after reading about each of the four inventions. I’m familiar with all the inventions discussed but I must admit that before reading this book I never really paid much attention to the inventors behind these innovations, aside from hearing about them in passing or in a discussion in past history classes. To my surprise, much of what I had taken for granted as fact concerning these inventions like the sewing machine, evolution and the electric light is completely wrong. I enjoyed having my understandings debunked and enjoyed learning about the different innovations that resulted in the final products. I thought it was interesting to see how often inventors (or rather “inventors”) stole ideas from each other and passed them off as their without giving credit to the real innovators. I like feeling that if I ever went to a trivia night and was asked a trivia question based on these inventions, I would know the answer…that is unless their answers are based on the not so true facts that most everyone believes to be true! It is easy to see that a large amount of research was put into this work!
I definitely think this book is a must read and really should be required reading because of the subject matter. I can’t believe I went half my life thinking I knew the truth about some of these inventions when I was so far from the truth. This book also has an extensive bibliography, which as a librarian in training, I fully appreciate and will peruse for further reading. If you enjoy non-fiction or would just enjoy learning the truth behind inventions that progressed the human race throughout the years, pick this book up – it’s a great read and will teach you alot and make you question what you think you know!
Daniel Diehl has been an author, writer and investigative historian for thirty-five years. For nearly twenty years Diehl has been involved in writing for publication and documentary television production. Mr. Diehl’s work has won awards from the Houston (Texas) Film Festival, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (US) and the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Arts Foundation. Working alone and as a part of the multi-award winning team of Daniel Diehl and Mark Donnelly, Diehl has produced work in two main categories; trade publication and television documentary scripts. His canon of work includes twenty non-fiction books (which have been translated into ten foreign languages), one previous work of fiction and scripts for more than one hundred and seventy hours of documentary television primarily for A&E Network, The History Channel, History International, Biography Channel and Discovery Network.
Mark P. Donnelly is an historian, author, screenwriter, duelist, bon vivant, and constant gentleman. He has authored, co-authored or ghost written over 20 titles in several countries and has scripted and/or produced nearly 200 hours of historical television programming. He can frequently be found traveling throughout the north-eastern US giving lectures and presentations at themed events as well as teaching historical swordsmanship and western martial arts. He currently resides in central Pennsylvania where he enjoys life with his wife and family.
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