George Washington Carver: Scientist and Educator

Overview

George Washington Carver has long been revered for his contributions to improving the lives of poor Southern farmers. Carver studied to be a scientist at a time when many black Americans could not afford, or were turned away from, universities. He went on to teach and do research at the famed Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where he became one of the most popular instructors at the school. Carver's efforts have been mythologized, but there is much to learn about his work, which benefited many people. George ...
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Overview

George Washington Carver has long been revered for his contributions to improving the lives of poor Southern farmers. Carver studied to be a scientist at a time when many black Americans could not afford, or were turned away from, universities. He went on to teach and do research at the famed Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where he became one of the most popular instructors at the school. Carver's efforts have been mythologized, but there is much to learn about his work, which benefited many people. George Washington Carver: Scientist and Educator tells the true story of the man who became a legend in his field.

About the Author:
Dennis Abrams is the author of several books, among them biographies of Barbara Park, Anthony Horowitz, Hamid Karzai, and Ty Cobb

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy DaPolito
This well-written, information-packed biography points out the distinction between Carver's real achievements and the myths that have grown up around his life. His name has long been associated with peanut research and products, but his true legacy stems from his teaching, his care for the environment, and his sustained efforts to help poor farmers make better use of their land. Carver was born in 1864 or 1865 and raised near Diamond, Missouri, by Moses and Susan Carver, farmers who had owned his late mother. The Carvers, who were childless, provided a tutor for George when they saw his craving for education. At 12, he went to a black school eight miles away, and at 13 he traveled to Kansas to work toward a high school education. After being turned down by a white college in 1885, he tried homesteading from 1886 to 1889. In 1890, he moved to Iowa, where he attended Simpson College in Indianola. Carver, the only black student, studied painting there for one year, then transferred to Iowa State and switched to agriculture so he could earn a living. He went on to earn a master of agriculture degree and to teach freshman biology courses. In 1896, he took a job as head of the new agricultural school at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama. Though he had had to deal with discrimination all his life and had once witnessed a lynching in Kansas, he had always had many white friends. In Alabama, he found far greater prejudice and danger plus the sharecropping system that kept poor farmers in perpetual debt. Carver's agricultural research enabled him to develop farming methods that helped these farmers improve their soil and their crops. He spread the word through clearly writtenpamphlets, farmers' conferences and fairs, and a traveling wagon that brought demonstration lectures directly to the farms. He also tried to develop new products and processes from local materials, work that was largely unsuccessful but that, in the case of his association with the peanut industry, made him famous. Carver's national celebrity developed as much because of his personality as his accomplishments. And because he attributed much of his achievement to God and rarely addressed racial issues openly, the American public could comfortably interpret his statements as those of a humble, uncomplaining man. The text is illustrated with occasional photographs and contains numerous sidebars with quotations from Carver and information about important historical terms such as homesteading and Jim Crow Laws. Following the text are a chronology of Carver's life, a list of books and websites for further reading, a list of picture credits and an index. The book is part of the "Black Americans of Achievement" series, the "Legacy Edition." Reviewer: Judy DaPolito
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791097175
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Series: Black Americans of Achievement Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 119
  • Age range: 11 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

The Man, the Myth     1
Obscure Beginnings     8
Midwestern Wanderings     18
A College Man     27
Southward to Tuskegee     39
Satisfactions and Frustrations     48
The Road to Fame     68
The Folk Hero     80
Beyond the Legend     96
Chronology     110
Further Reading     112
Index     115
About the Author     119
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