When we say that someone is a "tinkerer," we might be offering a word of praise...or a put-down. Today's edition of ST explores the positive definition of the "tinkerer," as a creative inventor or innovator. We speak by phone with the author and journalist Alec Foege about his latest book, "The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great." Foege is a former Rolling Stone contributing editor whose previous books include "Right of the Dial: The Rise of Clear Channel and the Fall of Commercial Radio" and "Confusion Is Next: The Sonic Youth Story." A writer for Kirkus Reviews calls the book "a celebratory exploration of American tinkerers and the spirit of innovation that moves them.... [A] lucid meditation on innovation [which] effectively argues that real tinkerers need their own space and the freedom to fail.... Tinkering remains a force to be reckoned with in the 21st century.... [This book offers a] laudatory history mixed with a provocative treatise on creating neat new things."