American Amateurs

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jack Hitt, contributing editor to the New York Times Magazine, and "This American Life" and the author of Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character, says enthusiasts aren't just entertaining oddities, but the soul of American entrepreneurship and identity.


Jack Hitt
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Comments [6]


Check out Fanuzzi's Gold, a short film about an inventor extraordinaire on Staten Island. I saw this excellent short at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in April, where it won a well deserved audience award. A true gem.

May. 16 2012 11:42 AM
Jeff from NYC

I advise those interested to check out

May. 16 2012 11:42 AM
Richard from Manhattan

Curious why Mr. Hitt considers amateur innovation such an American idea. There are an awful lot of great inventions invented by amateurs in other countries. And there are many being created now in the developing world.

May. 16 2012 11:42 AM
Jim from Bklyn

We're also the one country where dilettantism is nurtured in college!

May. 16 2012 11:41 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Playing around with DNA for consumption, or creating new life forms...don't like that idea at all...

May. 16 2012 11:41 AM

At least in the history of photography, amateurs 100 years ago were more highly respected than professionals. Amateurs took photographs out of love for it--"amateur" is from the French "lover of"--whereas professionals took pictures for money.
Quite different from today's mindset; now the word "amateur" is often preceded by "just an".

May. 16 2012 11:01 AM

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