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Publisher's Summary

Edwin Grosvenor writes of Bell's other extraordinary inventions: the first transmission of sound over light waves, metal detector, first practical phonograph, and early airplanes, including the first to fly in Canada. He also examines Bell's humanitarian efforts, including support for women's suffrage, civil rights, and speeches about what he warned would be a "greenhouse effect" of pollution causing global warming.

©2016 Edwin S. Grosvenor and Morgan Wesson (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 07-02-17

Lively Account of Bell's Life

This biography of Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) was written by his great grandson, Edwin S. Grosvenor. Edwin is the son of Melville Bell Grosvenor (1901-1982) who was president of the National Geographic Society. Melville’s father was Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor (1875-1966). He was considered the father of photojournalism and the first president of the National Geographic Society. Gilbert married Elsie May Bell (1878-1964), the daughter of Alexander Graham Bell. Bell was one of the founders of the National Geographic Society. Because of the Grosvenor family’s photography history, the book is loaded with photographs. The downside of listening to this book as an audiobook was missing out on the photographs.

Grosvenor explores Bell’s early life in Scotland and England including some of his childhood inventions. The author goes into depth about Bell’s teaching techniques to help the deaf children. He also examines Bell’s various inventions leading up to and including the telephone. He explains that Bell thoroughly understood the scientific theory of sound, acoustics and electricity. Bell had a wide range of interests and inventions in the areas of phonography, airplanes, solar power and metal detectors. He was a gifted teacher to the deaf. Bell taught Helen Keller to speak and arranged for Ann Sullivan to teach her. He also supported women’s suffrage, civil rights and warned about “greenhouse effect” of pollution. Bell felt the pollution of Edinburgh and London was a factor in the death of his brothers from Tuberculosis. This is only a brief list of the various interests of Bell. He was a most fascinating and brilliant man.

The book is well written and meticulously researched. The book is favorable toward Bell. Because the book is written by Bell’s great grandson there is more inside family information than there would otherwise normally be.

The book is six and half hours long. Donald Corren does an excellent job narrating the book. Corren is an actor and audiobook narrator.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful