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Stormy Genius: The Life of Aviation's Maverick Bill Lear

Rashke, Richard

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ISBN 10: 0395353726 / ISBN 13: 9780395353721
Published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1985
Condition: Very Good + Hardcover
From Black Falcon Books (Wellesley, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Third printing. Signed by the author on the front endpaper: "Richard Rashke." Also signed by the fourth wife of inventor, aviation pioneer, and businessman (founder of Lear Jet Corporation) Bill Lear (1902-1978) on the half-title page: "Moya Lear"; a Schuler Books (Kentwood, Michigan) bookmark laid in. Quarterbound in light blue paper-covered boards with a dark blue cloth, silver-lettered spine. The book is square and unmarked; corners sharp, spine ends bumped. The dust jacket is price-clipped; some edgewear; Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 006722

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Stormy Genius: The Life of Aviation's ...

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, Boston

Publication Date: 1985

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Very Good +

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good +

Signed: Signed by Author

About this title

Synopsis:

Dust jacket notes: "Bill Lear, an irascible, eccentric, outrageous aviation genius, did more in his unorthodox way to make the skies safe for pilots than any other man of his era. Ironically, this least corporate of men, who fought every establishment and played by no one's rules but his own, is best remembered for his corporate jet. Seven years after his death, the Lear Jet is still the best-selling business airplane. This is a fast-paced biography of a grade school graduate who patented more than 150 designs and inventions in electronics and aerodynamics and won honorary degrees and major awards. Among Lear's inventions were the first practical direction finder for airplanes, the first automatic pilot for jets (used in the Korean War and on the U-2 spy plane), an automatic landing system for jets, and the eight-track tape. As a poor boy who made and lost millions four times over, Lear also won the Horatio Alger rags-to-riches award. Alger, whose prescription for success was hard work, modesty, and upright behavior, must have squirmed in his grave when his prize went to a boisterous, high-living womanizer. Men who worked for Lear rarely had anything milder than a love-hate relationship with him, but for his four wives, a string of mistresses, innumerable girlfriends and seven children, life with Lear was even more complicated. Yet no one who knew him ever forgot him. In this book Richard Rashke re-creates the tension and excitement of the early days of radio and aviation with the vivid detail that won him acclaim for his earlier book, The Killing of Karen Silkwood. In chronicling the life and work of the man the press dubbed 'aviation's stormy genius,' he has given us a highly readable and entertaining business and aviation story."

From Publishers Weekly:

"Bill stirred men's blood," said one of Lear's employees, and after reading this spirited biography by the author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood, the reader understands why. Although lacking formal education, especially in science, Lear was an inventive genius, his interests ranging from radio to airplanes, wire recorders, prefabricated homes and steam-powered cars. His 150 patents included a radio direction finder and an automatic pilot for planes, and the eight-track tape, designed originally for automobile stereos. And, while he focused on his invention of the moment with monomaniacal intensity, Lear found time to contract four marriages, sire seven children and have many mistresses, some for years. A stubborn, opinionated, difficult man who made and lost several fortunes, his technological intuition rarely led him astray, although he was ill-suited to manage his various companies. His life story is absorbing. Photos not seen by PW. November 13
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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