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Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored in an Economy Built for Men

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An illuminating and maddening examination of how gender bias has skewed innovation, technology, and history—now in paperback

It all starts with a rolling suitcase. Though the wheel was invented some 5,000 years ago, and the suitcase in the 19th century, it wasn’t until the 1970s that someone successfully married the two. What was the holdup? For writer and journalist Katrine Marçal, the answer is both shocking and simple: because “real men” carried their bags, no matter how heavy.

Mother of Invention
is a fascinating and eye-opening examination of business, technology, and innovation through a feminist lens. Because it wasn’t just the suitcase. Drawing on examples from electric cars to tech billionaires, Marçal shows how gender bias stifles the economy and holds us back, delaying innovations, by hundreds of years, and distorting 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 as those associated with men. Mother of Invention is a sweeping tour of the global economy with a powerful message: If we upend our biases, we can unleash our full potential.

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