The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret

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9780393062069: The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret

A gripping intrigue at the heart of one of the world’s most important inventions.

While researching Alexander Graham Bell at MIT’s Dibner Institute, Seth Shulman scrutinized Bell’s journals and within them he found the smoking gun, a hint of deeply buried historical intrigue. Delving further, Shulman unearthed the surprising story behind the invention of the telephone: a tale of romance, corruption, and unchecked ambition. Bell furtively―and illegally―copied part of Elisha Gray’s invention in the race to secure what would become the most valuable U.S. patent ever issued. And afterward, as Bell’s device led to the world’s largest monopoly, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, he hid his invention’s illicit beginnings. In The Telephone Gambit, Shulman challenges the reputation of an icon of invention, rocks the foundation of a corporate behemoth, and offers a probing meditation on how little we know about our own history.

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Review:

Amazon Best of the Month, January 2008: Seth Shulman closely examines the race to build the first telephone and uncovers potential bombshells with The Telephone Gambit. Although Alexander Graham Bell is widely accepted as the father of the telephone (despite the fact that rival inventor Elisha Gray submitted a similar claim the same day Bell filed his patent), Schulman provides intriguing evidence questioning if the scales were deliberately tipped in Alexander's favor. Was the venerable inventor party to theft from Gray's own research? Or are such accusations merely sour grapes from a bitterly contested legal battle? Fraught with controversy, conspiracy, and possible chicanery, Shulman spins real-life Da Vinci Code drama around one of the most influential inventions of the modern era. --Dave Callanan

About the Author:

Seth Shulman is an author, editor, and journalist specializing in issues in science, technology, and the environment. His most recent books include Unlocking the Sky and Owning the Future. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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