About the Book
"The most exciting discovery in looking at the whole span of 200 years of innovation is how much the innovators were democratizers, bringing reality to the rhetoric of liberty and equality."
-- Sir Harold Evans, author, They Made America
The four-part PBS series, They Made America, presents a sampling of the stories included in a book of the same name by bestselling author Sir Harold Evans. Evans spent five years researching and writing his illustrated history with the assistance of photographic historian Gail Buckland and journalist David Lefer. The book presents two centuries of innovators, from the steam engine to the search engine. It tells the stories of dozens of American innovators -- some well known, some unknown, and all fascinating -- who made America great.
The real inventor of the steam engine. The creator of the bra. The man who invented modern banking. The creator of the computer operating system. These and scores of others are the characters who populate the book, They Made America.
Evans reveals the surprising truths behind many of the creations that made our modern world, as well as the lessons we can learn by studying the great entrepreneurs and innovators of the past two centuries.
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: October 2004
Sir Harold Evans is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller The American Century and Editor at Large of The Week magazine. He was the founding editor of Condé Nast Traveler, editorial director of U.S. News & World Report, and president of Random House, where he published a record number of bestsellers. He was editor of the London Sunday Times and of The Times, and his account of those years, Good Times, Bad Times, was a #1 bestseller in Britain. He lives in New York.
Gail Buckland is the author of nine books on photography and history including a twelve-year collaboration with Harold Evans and Kevin Baker on The American Century. She is professor of the history of photography at The Cooper Union, New York City and is the former curator of the Royal Photographic Society, London. She has curated numerous museum and gallery exhibitions. She held the Nobel Chair in Art and Cultural History at Sarah Lawrence College. In 2002 she worked with Al and Tipper Gore on The Spirit of Family.
David Lefer studied astrophysics and English at Harvard, literature at Oxford and the University of Paris and journalism at Columbia, where he got his master's degree. He was a New York City auxiliary police officer for three years and has worked at Newsday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the PBS talk show The Digital Age, the China News in Taiwan and the New York Daily News, where as an investigative reporter he spent three days on the streets to write about the homeless.