4 out of 4 stars
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The Twelve-Billion Dollar Man by Dave Riley is a collection of 33 unique stories of individuals who have made significant marks in the annals of history. These stories cut across all fields of human endeavor, from humanitarians saving lives, inventors solving societal challenges, ordinary people with genius ideas down to seniors defying stereotypes. The wealth of human capacity is explored in this beautiful anthology of wonders — a testament to the milliards of accomplishments the human body and brain can muster. Some of these stories are unheard of. However, their uniqueness tells of the fighting spirit that has ensured the survival of the human race for ages.
Dr. Frances O. Kelsey's dexterity helped save thousands of American babies from deformities. John Gagliardi is the unconventional football coach who won more victories than any other coach in collegiate history. Besedka Johnson starred in Starlet as Sadie. Ruby Bridges is the desegregation 'babe' of southern public schools. These are just a few of the many men and women whose mind-boggling and funny stories make up The Twelve-Billion Dollar Man.
This book pays tribute to the men and women who have contributed immensely to world history. Their stories are inspiring and a reminder of the capacity of the human mind. The author embedded personal stories of his in the stories he told, making some of the narratives relatable. The stories are concise and informative; while some make room for a good laugh, others will leave the readers in awe. The evident research and the resultant detailed and historical anecdotes speak to the author's dedication to telling these stories accurately. His deliberate emphasis on seniors' achievements shows that age is just a number. A determined mind can accomplish a lot; all that is needed is the courage to take the necessary steps. Hopefully, the stories within this book will be that catalyst to set someone off on a journey of discoveries.
The editing of this book is commendable as there are minimal errors within. Apart from a few typos and the scrambled word, "D r aza M i h a i l o v ic," on pages 109 and 110, the book is well written. I also noticed some blank pages in between some stories, and I think including pictures (especially for the stories talking about inventions) will make for a more pleasurable read. Other than these, there's nothing I dislike about the book.
I will recommend this book to readers interested in untold stories of ordinary individuals who have impacted the world deeply. This book is as historical as it is informative. Readers born in the last century can reminisce on the people that made history in the distant past. I will rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Dave Riley is a fantastic storyteller, and this journey with him left me in awe of the human race.
Twelve-Billion Dollar Man
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