Crosley, by Rusty McClure, David Stern & Michael A. Banks
I don't read very many biographies but I made an exception with Crosley and I'm glad I did. I just finished it last night and it was one of the most enjoyable reads I've had in quite awhile. The book covers the lives of two brothers, Powel and Lewis Crosley, and their remarkable careers; Powel was the creative genius and Lewis was the hard-working, reliable partner who made everything happen.
So what exactly did these two do? Not a whole lot, other than create radios "for the masses, not the classes", build one of the leading AM radio stations in the country, pioneer and build home refrigeration systems, manufacture explosive devices that helped win World War II, design and manufacture automobiles and own the Cincinnati Reds. (I left a few of the smaller items out, btw.)
If you're from the Cincinnati area you're probably familiar with the Crosley name. The Reds used to play at Crosley Field before Riverfront Stadium opened in 1970 -- that was the extent of my Crosley knowledge prior to reading this great book. Now I feel like a bit of a Crosley expert, primarily because the authors did a fantastic job of assembling the facts and telling the story. There's also a companion website for the book where you can find more information about the authors and loads of Crosley family pictures, including several that aren't in the book.
Even if you're like I was and aren't that familiar with the Crosley family, you owe it to yourself to grab a copy of this and read it cover to cover -- you won't be disappointed.