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Mother of Invention

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About the Book

Title: Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored In An Economy Built For Men

Author: Katrine Marçal

Genre: Nonfiction, Feminism, History, Business, Economics, Politics

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

Publication Date: February, 2021

Pages: 304, Hardcover

 

Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored In An Economy Built For Men by Katrine Marçal was an incredibly fast read than I expected. I must also admit that the content was certainly unexpected. 

 

With a title like that, you’d think Katrine explores some of the best ideas and inventions made by women that were somehow downplayed or swept under the rug. But no. All the examples the author pointed out show a role women have played directly or indirectly in the invention of some products. 

 

Get Your Copy of Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored In An Economy Built For Men by Katrine Marçal

 

Mother of Invention

 

One of the examples I enjoyed and was honestly ignorant about was Bertha Benz’s. She is the wife of Karl Benz, the founder of Mercedes Benz. But Bertha played a key role in the invention of the then ‘motor vehicle’. She is known as the first human to drive long distances. Because of the test drive she took with her sons behind her husband’s back, she gave him ideas on what to improve on his invention. This is what led to the success of Karl’s vehicle invention. More than that, she had also invested a lot of her money into the business. Still, some vehicle inventions were ignored (like electric cars) or simply not considered some years down the line because women were not seen as good drivers (I bet you’ve heard this in this century, too). Such perceptions about women and vehicles delayed progress in this industry for years. And this is just one of them. 

 

Katrine explores several more inventions, like the incorporation of wheels on suitcases and how computer science was invented by a woman and was a female-dominated field but has since become male-dominated for various reasons. There is also a touch on how bra seamstresses helped in propelling the first man to the moon- imagine that! 

 

Let me not spoil the book for you with endless examples. 

 

I also loved that the book wasn’t just about these ignored inventions of the past. The author touched on the present and how some standing biases are constantly working against women entrepreneurs and inventors. For instance, venture capital is not that friendly to women entrepreneurs. If you follow business news and studies, you will realise this is a widely known fact. And while there are a few changes, we still have a long way to give women entrepreneurs the same chance as men. 

 

Mother of Invention and a cup of hot chocolate with mashmallows

 

As much as I enjoyed the book, I couldn’t help but feel that something more was missing in the book. Some of the stories sounded a bit redundant, and I would have wanted to read more about a particular invention without getting thrown into another story. In addition, there are areas you could clearly feel the author’s frustration with the other gender. 

 

Overall, it is a book I would recommend, if only just for the history lessons. While at it, I would also recommend adding Why Women Are Poorer Than Men And What We Can Do About It By Annabelle Williams to that list. 

 

Get Your Copy of Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored In An Economy Built For Men by Katrine Marçal

 

Looking for more book recommendations? Get your next inspiration here.

 

My ★ Rating 4.0

Goodreads ★ Rating 4.01 (as of April 2022)

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