Thomas Edison – Inspiration and Hard Work by Janet & Geoff Benge: A Book Review

Cuddle Bug and I continue on with our Heroes of History series.

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Next on our list was Thomas Edison: Inspiration and Hard Work by Janet & Geoff Benge.  Honestly, I had mixed feelings about this book.

On the one hand, Edison is a genius and had a hand in so many inventions of the 19th and 20th century, much like Benjamin Franklin did in the 18th century.  The sheer amount of work he did during his lifetime and the many inventions he made that revolutionized modern life is certainly impressive, and I liked reading about it, though I did feel bogged down in the scientific details some times.

However, Edison’s personal life left me exasperated.  He was a workaholic and worked 18 hours or more a day, leaving his wife home alone to raise the children.  When his wife died, he married again, and left her alone, too, while he worked endlessly.  When his poor wife lost several family members in just a few months time, Tom retreated to his lab and left her alone.

When his parents died, he didn’t want to interrupt his work to go home for the funerals.  His sister had to sternly talk to him to make him come.

I had read that people believe Thomas Edison might have had Asperger’s, and I could see that based on his behavior.

I was impressed with Edison’s never ending desire to learn and his resilience when he faced hardships.  In that way, his story is truly inspiring.  I just wouldn’t have wanted to be married to him.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

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