Biographer of Obscure 20th Century Scientists
“The universe is filled with magical things,
patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”
– Eden Phillpotts
All Philo T. Farnsworth did was invent a thing called ‘the television’ – which over the course of his lifetime (1906-1971) became the most ubiquitous appliance in the history of human civilization. Every video screen on the planet – including the one you are looking at now – can trace its origins to a sketch that 14-year-old Philo drew for his high school science teacher in 1922. Schatzkin’s first book – The Boy Who Invented Television – traces the arc of Farnsworth’s life from the advent of television in the 1920s and 30s to edge of humanity’s next frontier: clean, safe, and abundant energy from controlled nuclear fusion.
Schatzkin’s second book – exploring the mysterious life of T. Townsend Brown (1095-1985) – is ‘the biography of a man whose story cannot be told.’ The Man Who Mastered Gravity is a tale that lives in the Venn diagram between science, science fiction and pseudo science, with elements of world history, international espionage, and cross-generational romance.
Taken together, Schatzkin’s two books suggest that if advanced civilizations are galavanting around the galaxy, then their vessels are propelled by the two technologies that Farnsworth and Brown came close to – fusion energy and gravity control – that remain tantalizingly out of reach of even 21st century humans.
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Paul Schatzkin has been described variously as a visionary, gadfly, serial entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, staunch McLuhanist, author, occasional bomb-thrower, guitarist and songwriter. He was born in New York City and raised in Springsteen Country (Monmouth County, NJ) back when it was safe to ride a bicycle without a helmet.
A graduate of the Antioch College work/study program, his multi-faceted career has included everything from earning an Emmy Award nomination for video editing (in the 1970s), to taking tourists sailing and snorkeling in Hawaii (in the 1980s), and launching Nashville’s first Internet music business (in the 1990s). He has spent the first two-plus decades of twenty-first century researching and writing these two biographies of obscure scientists from the twentieth.
Both books have reached #1 in their categories on Amazon:
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