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The Inventor And The Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder And The Birth Of Moving Pictures (2013)

by Edward Ball(Favorite Author)
3.19 of 5 Votes: 5
0385525753 (ISBN13: 9780385525756)
review 1: This was an oddly compelling book that tells the story of two men who were notorious and driven to achieve gigantic goals. One, Leland Stanford was Governor of California, a U.S. Senator, an extremely wealthy businessman and a railroad developer. The second man is the inventor of moving pictures, by the name of Edward Muybridge. It's a story of fabulous wealth, corruption, greed, murder, tragedy, and triumph. It would have been an easier read if it were told in a flowing way, chronologically, as there were so many facets to each of the men's lives and so much information. It was two biographies in one and it was almost too much to digest as these two men had myriad layers in their powerful lives. Stanford was likened to an octopus, his reach was so extensive and all en... morecompassing as he swallowed up railroads and people alike. Edward Muybridge was an odd duck, equally determined to achieve success in his field of photography. His collaboration with Stanford gave birth to the ideas and inventions that developed the science of motion pictures. Muybridge was a bonafide murderer as well and that tale was fascinating to read. Each man suffered for his choices but through these challenges, both gave the world positive gifts. Stanford University was created to honor the son of the railroad giant and the media world was given a huge boost by the inventions of the quirky man from England. The book revealed much to me that was eye opening and I enjoyed the trip to the past.
review 2: As a photographer and someone who grew up in the Bay Area and loves local history, this was a great read. I especially like the fact that Muybridge photographed Lighthouses of the Pacific coast in the early 1870's. Despite the fact that he committed murder, his invention of the fast shutter and probably a more sensitive film speed was a major revolution. No longer was all photography limited to three minute exposures. Freezing action and the birth of motion pictures was born. less
Reviews (see all)
Not exactly what I expecting. An interesting look at the history of motion pictures.
Interesting, but maybe more so if you have a connection to California or Stanford.
Amazing book about the man who invented the machine that led to moving pictures.
It's a great story. Unfortunately the author keeps getting in its way.
Actually more of a 3 plus!
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