If Countries Have Souls "Then America's Is the Patent System"
(p. 46) [Julia Keller] discusses Lincoln's little-known interest in personally testing new Army weapons and, in a brilliant passage, rhapsodizes about creativity and the Patent Office: "If a country can be said to possess a soul, then America's is the patent system: the simple, fair method of staking claim to a new idea and getting the chance to make money from it."
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(Note: the online version of the review is dated November 7, 2008.)
Keller, Julia. Mr. Gatling's Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It. New York: Viking, 2008.