Laura's Reviews > Cheaper by the Dozen

Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr.
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's review
Jun 03, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009, audio-book, read-aloud, book-club
Recommended for: eight and up
Read in May, 2009

I discovered after I read the book, that this story is true! If I had known, I would have listened more intently. Two of the twelve children write about their father in this very entertaining and endearing tribute. Some of of the episodes dragged a bit, but for the most part, I loved hearing about Frank Gilbreth's interaction and love for his wife and family. We listened to this in the car, and I especially enjoyed how Gilbreth's motion studies and demand for efficiency trickled down to my own children! Mostly, I love the husband and wife relationship. I didn't realize until researching Frank and Lillian that they were such a dynamic duo in the world of engineering. In one of their biographies it stated, "Few marriages throughout history can match this romance of husband and wife, both whose names have become famous in the same field. The heights that such a partnership can achieve is probably best realized by attempting to name other such combinations--Pierre and Marie Curie, Charles and Mary Beard, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Elizabeth and Robert Browning. Surely there are not many--but they are impressive."

About Lillian it goes on to say, "It is both easy and difficult to analyze this First Lady of Engineering. She is the epitome of crystal-clear logic--even though she seems to be a mass of contradictions. Trained in literature, she has found her place in engineering. As an engineer, she has found people more important than machines; waging a never-ending war on fatigue. One, watching her unceasing rounds of work, activity, and travel, can rightfully believe that she has created a non-existent foe. An extremely busy woman, she seems to have more time for things than most people. And, as kind and as gentle as she is, she can don armor and do more than hold her ground in defending the right.

Frank and Lillian put their marriage and family before all of their other demands and accomplishments. I am so glad to now know about them because the account of their lives and mishaps have inspired me!

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