Charles Martin Hall discovered the electrolytic process by which aluminum, the widely-used metal, can be extracted from its ores. Precious little in the way of vital or intriguing information can be garnered from the dead-weight of this dreary biography. Perhaps chemistry students will find the scientific details about the development of the process of some antiquarian interest. As a personality, he appears in this book to have been very prim, proper, and just plain dull. Endless dialogue has been inserted, blander than life, ranging from businessmen's banter, job interviews, to social chat. And, the most unappealing trivia has been included: his eccentric prudishness (""Why are there no great porcelain makers today?' 'I don't know. Why?' 'Tobacco,' said Charles""), the details of his pallid romance (he was engaged to a girl for almost four years and hardly saw or wrote her the whole time), his internal disorders, the eulogies at his funeral. There is a lengthy bibliography, but with this introduction it's hard to imagine that anyone would want to read further.