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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What is it that drives the success of America and the identity of its people? Jack Hitt thinks it's because we're all a bunch of amateurs.
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 Amateur pursuits are too often criticized as outdated practices until a Mark Zuckerberg steps out of his dorm room with the rare but crucial success story.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.

About the Author
Jack Hitt is a contributing writer for "Harper's" and "GQ." He also writes for "The New York Times Magazine, Outside, " and "Mother Jones, " and contributes frequently to public radio's "This American Life."
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