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Remember when then President Obama had the audacity to say, “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that?” Yeah, Michelle Malkin does too. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners remember it too. It was not only false, it was a slap in the face. Michelle Malkin was not going to sit by and let those people feel like their American Dream had been lessened or spat upon. She did what she does best: she wrote, and Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs was the successful result. Published in 2015, it is still a salient read today.

I love stories that go beyond politics and ideology and tell the story of real people, not party bosses. I love a good anecdote, and I know that is the best way to get your message across to a wide audience. That’s probably why I enjoyed this book so much and closed it feeling inspired to build something of my own. So, what kind of inventions and innovations does Malkin explore in this book? She does a nice job of spreading her breadth wide and far so that even as someone without much technological understanding, or interest, frankly, I could stay tuned into the work. She sells her case for entrepreneurship and the tinkerpreneur by using things that we all know and use: bridges, refrigerators, toilet paper, bottle caps, and razors.

This is the kind of book you can recommend to your liberal friend who claims to be a socialist or that the government can do everything for citizens. It is really hard to deny the facts of history. The look on their face when they realize they wouldn’t have toilet paper if not for capitalism and innovation outside of the government’s reach will be priceless, I promise you.

You might be wondering, why did Michelle Malkin, political pundit and conservative write a book about this? Was she just really upset at Obama’s comment on businesses and wanted to prove him wrong? Not exactly. Her introduction to this book is a fascinating look at her own life outside of political blogging and Fox News commentary. She’s a mom, first and foremost, and she’s got a love for the Science Channel and shows like Popular Mechanics and Shark Tank. She’s a woman who has really built a career for herself, even if she didn’t exactly invent toilet paper. Yes, part of the impetus behind this book was her being “Angry TV lady” as she calls it, but it was more than that. It was part of her passion for innovation and science that allowed her to be the right person to write this book. I think that shows throughout the piece.

I only have one major qualm with the book. The word tinkerpreneuer is not a word. Malkin seems to have come up with it. There is a word for this already, and it is inventor. Why couldn’t Malkin have just used this word? Of course, this is a pretty small qualm compared to some qualms I’ve had with other books, but it was a little frustrating for the English major inside of me.

If you’re looking for a read that is full of a little politics, a lot of history and innovation, and will leave you feeling inspired, pick up Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs today wherever books are sold.

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Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member
Aryssa is a student at Yale University, where she enjoys worshiping the patriarchy, making sandwiches, and finding a husband. She loves wearing her FFL gear and documenting the horrific expressions that ensue for her scrapbook. When she is not being "oppressed" by the patriarchy, she enjoys Lilly Pulitzer and classic novels.

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