Summary of Who Built That

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Who Built That book summary


7 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


Part history lesson and part political treatise, this collection of biographies about highly prolific but often lesser-known American inventors takes direct aim at President Barack Obama’s 2012 assertion that business owners need help from government-funded programs. Conservative pundit and best-selling author Michelle Malkin punctuates her detailed portraits of ambitious US “tinkerpreneurs” with assertions about how the United States’ historic support of patents and intellectual property rights facilitated the development of new products and systems. Some students of history and economics may find gaps in her interpretations, and some readers may find the book’s political asides a little jarring, but everyone can enjoy learning how everyday Americans changed the world with their ideas. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends Malkin’s engrossing mini-biographies especially to readers who seek a sincere, impassioned defense of free market capitalism.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How American inventors devised innovative products and mechanisms,
  • How the “profit motive” and strong patent and intellectual property laws facilitate invention, and
  • How recent changes in US patent laws harm “tinkerpreneurs.”

About the Author

Michelle Malkin writes nationally syndicated columns for Creators Syndicate and blogs at Her 2009 book Culture of Corruption was a New York Times bestseller.



Credit Where It’s Due
Every day, people around the world tear toilet paper, pop bottle caps, turn on air conditioners and plug in appliances, but few could name the inventors who made these routine acts possible. Today, American innovation is threatened by changes made to US patent laws...

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