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Publishers WeeklyFiguring enough ink has been spilled writing up the usual suspects of American heroism-like Paul Revere, Martin Luther King Jr., Betsy Ross, and others-Martin, the executive editor of National Geographic Travel, provides readers with a medley of unsung heroes and their compelling stories. Self-sacrifice and determination abound in the tales of folks like Joseph Dutton, who moved to a leper colony in Hawaii at the end of the 19th century to devote the rest of his life to the ostracized community; Madam C.J. Walker, née Sarah Breedlove, a daughter of former slaves, who went from earning $1.50 a day as a laundress to becoming "one of the country's first self-made female millionaires" by selling her "hair grower" preparation as the African American beauty market expanded; and Hedy Lamarr, already known as a "silver screen goddess," who went largely unheralded for inventing a "a new technology that could be used to create a more accurate torpedo," for which she received a patent in 1942. Meticulously researched, Martin holds his subjects in deserved high-esteem. However, the brief chapters (separated into Voyagers, Innovators, and Humanitarians), while providing for an easy reading experience, might leave some readers wanting for more. Agent: Erin Malone, WME Entertainment.
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