Bunch of Amateurs
Inside America's Hidden World of Inventors, Tinkerers, and Job Creators
By Jack Hitt
(Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780307393760, 280pp.)
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
List Price: $15.95*
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America's self-invented tinkerers are back at it in their metaphorical garages--fiddling with everything from solar-powered cars to space elevators. In "Bunch of Amateurs," Jack Hitt draws a fascinating look at amateurs and their pursuits--from a tattooed young woman in the Bay Area trying to splice a jellyfish's glow-in-the-dark gene into common yogurt to a space fanatic on the brink of developing the next generation of telescopes from his mobile home.
Beginning with Ben Franklin's kite, Hitt argues that history is bound up in a cycle of amateur surges, each one driving us to rediscover the true heart of the American dream. Amateur pursuits are too often criticized as outdated practices until a Mark Zuckerberg steps out of his dorm room with the rare but crucial success story. According to Hitt, we are poised at another frontier that will lead, once more, to the newest incarnation of the American dream.