American Connections: The Founding Fathers, Networked by James Burke

By James Burke

Utilizing the original technique that he has hired in his past books, writer, columnist, and tv commentator James Burke exhibits us our connections to the fifty-six males who signed the statement of Independence. Over the 2 hundred-plus years that separate us, those connections are usually spectacular and constantly interesting. Burke turns the signers from ancient icons into flesh-and-blood humans: a few have been shady monetary manipulators, so much have been masterful political operators, a couple of have been strong humans, and a few have been nice males. The community that hyperlinks them to us is usually peopled by way of every kind, from spies and assassins to enthusiasts and adulterers, inventors and artists. the binds might be extra direct for a few of us than others, yet we're all associated ultimately to those founders of our kingdom.

in case you loved Martin Sheen because the president on television's The West Wing, then you are attached to founder Josiah Bartlett. the relationship from signer Bartlett to Sheen comprises John Paul Jones; pass judgement on William Cooper, father of James Fenimore; Sir Thomas Brisbane, governor of recent South Wales; an incestuous astronomer; an itinerant math instructor; early inventors of tv; and pioneering television character Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, the foundation for Ramon Estevez's reveal identify, Martin Sheen.

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S. language. All this translated in 1787 by George Grieve. After early radical politics in England, by 1781 George had to skip the country for the United States, where he met George Washington, then headed for Paris. Where he became infatuated with (and sexually obsessed by) the recently dead Louis XV’s mistress, Madame du Barry. Whose jewels were stolen during an absence with yet another lover, and in 1792 while du Barry was in London looking for her sparklers, Grieve got the French revolutionaries to seal her house and confiscate her papers (so he could read them) and to make her number one Most Wanted.

In 1945 he set up America’s fourth TV channel, the Dumont Network. Dumont was yet another inventor lacking in business acumen and was eventually bought out by Hollywood. But not before he had garnered an astonishing number of stations across the country (215 in all) that tuned in to his (and the nation’s) number one TV show: Bishop Fulton Sheen’s Life Is Worth Living. When the series started in 1952 philosopher and theologian Sheen was auxiliary bishop of New York. On the show all he did was give sermons (with the aid of a blackboard, chalk, patriotism, and piety) attacking Godless Communism.

Geiger’s son Hans made more of a name by inventing the Geiger counter. He developed the prototype at Manchester U. (in England) so as to be able to count the alpha particles his colleague physicist Ernest Rutherford had found coming off radioactive materials. This led him to investigate how the alpha particles behaved when they hit something. This showed Rutherford (take his word) that there was a ton of power locked up in an atomic nucleus if you could release it. In 1905 Einstein showed how you could do that with e = mc2 (take his word).

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