Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character

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Crown Publishers, 2012 - History - 280 pages
3 Reviews
WHAT IS IT THAT DRIVES THE SUCCESS OF AMERICA AND THE IDENTITY OF ITS PEOPLE? ACCLAIMED WRITER AND CONTRIBUTING EDITOR TO THIS AMERICAN LIFE JACK HITT THINKS IT'S BECAUSE WE'RE ALL A BUNCH OF AMATEURS.

America's self-invented tinkerers are back at it in their metaphorical garages--fiddling with everything from solar-powered cars to space elevators. In Bunch of Amateurs, Jack Hitt visits a number of different garages and has written a fascinating book that looks at America's current batch of amateurs and their pursuits. From a tattooed young woman in the Bay Area trying to splice a fish's glow-in-the-dark gene into common yogurt (all done in her kitchen using salad spinners)
to a space fanatic on the brink of developing the next generation of telescopes from his mobile home, Hitt not only tells the stories of people in the grip of a passion but argues that America's history is bound up in a cycle of amateur surges.

Beginning with Ben Franklin's kite and leading all the way to the current TV hit American Idol, Hitt argues that the nation's
love of self-invented obsessives has always driven the country to rediscover the true heart of the American dream. Amateur pursuits are typically lamented as a world that just passed until a Sergey Brin or Mark Zuckerberg steps out of his garage (or dorm room) with the rare but crucial success story. In Bunch of Amateurs, Hitt argues that America is now poised to pioneer at another frontier that will lead, one more time, to the newest version of the American dream.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

Let’s get this out of the way: Hitt does almost nothing to suggest that American amateurism is different from anyone else’s amateurism, though he does say it’s part of our self-image. (The quality of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Jaylia3 - LibraryThing

In this entertaining and wide ranging book journalist Jack Hitt explores what it is to be an amateur and why it has been a quintessentially American pursuit since the time of Ben Franklin, a man Hitt ... Read full review

Contents

UNEE MUHE TU THE GATES
25
THE THUTH AHITUT HIHUS
48
T A TIUUEEITEHAEY UE UAUTTEEHS
104
MIGHTY WHITE UE YUUI A EUMEUY UE HMATEUHS
145
EYEIUE HEAUEU
201
THE PURSUIT UE HAPPINESS
249
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

JACK HITT is a contributing editor to the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and public radio's This American Life. He also writes for Rolling Stone, GQ, Wired, and, of course, Garden & Gun. He has won the Peabody Award, as well as the Livingston and Pope Foundation Awards. His stories can be heard on This American Life's greatest hits CD, Lies, Sissies & Fiascoes, and The Best Crimes and Misdemeanors: Stories from The Moth. He is the author of a solo theater performance, currently touring, entitled Making Up the Truth.

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