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Mother of invention : how good ideas get ignored in an economy built for men / Katrine Marçal ; translated by Alex Fleming.

Available copies

  • 0 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 0 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

1 current hold with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Moorhead Public Library 604.82 MAR (Text) 33500013500582 New Checked out 12/21/2021

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781419758041
  • ISBN: 1419758047
  • Physical Description: 296 pages : 24 cm
  • Publisher: New York, NY : Abrams Press, 2021.

Content descriptions

General Note:
Translation of Att uppfinna världen from the Swedish.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 285-296).
Formatted Contents Note:
Inventions. 1. In which we invent the wheel and, after 5,000 years, manage to attach it to a suitcase -- 2. In which we start the car without breaking out jaw -- Technology. 3. In which bras and girdles take us to the moon -- 4. In which we learn the difference between horsepower and girl power -- Femininity. 5. In which a great invention is made in Västerås, and we go on a whale hunt -- 6. In which influencers get richer than hackers -- Future. 7. In which the black swan turns out to have a body -- In which Serena Williams beats Garry Kasparov -- In which we forget to ask about Mary -- 8. In which we decide not to burn the world at the stake.
Summary, etc.:
The wheel was invented some 5,000 years ago, and the modern suitcase in the mid-nineteenth century, but it wasn't until the 1970s that someone successfully married the two. What was the hold up? For writer and journalist Katrine Marçal, the answer is both shocking and simple: because "real men" carried their bags, no matter how heavy. There were rolling suitcases before the '70s, but they were marketed as a niche product for (the presumably few) women travelling alone, and the wheeled suitcase wasn't "invented" until it was no longer threatening to masculinity. Mother of Invention draws on this example and many others, from electric cars to tech billionaires, to show how gender bias stifles the economy and holds us back. Our traditional notions about men and women have delayed innovations, sometimes by hundreds of years, and have distorted our understanding of our history. While we talk about the Iron Age and the Bronze Age, we might as well talk about the Ceramic Age or the Flax Age, since these technologies were just as important. But inventions associated with women are not considered to be technology in the same way. Marçal takes us on a tour of the global economy, arguing that gendered assumptions dictate which businesses get funding, how we value work, and how we trace human progress."-- Provided by publisher

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2021 September #2
    In this breezy read, Swedish journalist Marçal (Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? 2016) explores the ways in which gender biases curtail or direct innovation and thus shape our collective futures. Each chapter uses an animating story—for example, one about the women seamstresses who sewed the spacesuits worn by the Apollo 11 astronauts—to offer free-flowing ruminations on patriarchy, economics, and invention. One chapter highlights the case of Aina Wifalk, a Swedish polio survivor who commissioned the invention of the rollator (an assistive device), to consider how the financial system "systematically excludes women's ideas." Marçal focuses less on women inventors and entrepreneurs than she does on socialized assumptions about what sorts of behaviors are masculine or feminine and the kinds of activities that are recognized as inventions in the first place. "Who gets to play a part in inventing our world?" she asks. "And who doesn't? And what is the cost to us all?" Marçal offers lively, if anecdotal and occasionally impressionistic, answers. But those questions, and others she asks like them, are important ones. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

<b>Katrine Mar&#231;</b><b>al</b> is a Swedish writer, journalist and correspondent for the Swedish daily newspaper <i>Dagens Nyheter. </i>Her first book, <i>Who Cooked Adam Smith&#8217;s Dinner?</i> was shortlisted for the August Prize and won the Lagercrantzen Award. She lives in London.

Subject: Technology and women.
Technological innovations.
Women inventors.
Technological innovations.
Technology and women.
Women inventors.

Additional Resources