Foreword Reviews

George Washington Carver

A Life

The extraordinary life of this brilliant botanist attains its only-in-America moniker not only because George Washington Carver was born into slavery and subject to the vile-level racism of the Jim Crow era, but because of his Andy Griffith-like good cheer, his optimism, and his friendships with Mahatma Gandhi, Teddy Roosevelt, and Henry Ford. Moreover, as an infant, he nearly died of whooping cough, which permanently left him speaking with a high, girlish voice—a fact that further distinguished him the whole of his life.

Biographer Christina Vella excels on every level in her approach and execution of this work, most notably the depth of her research and witty, humorous, delightful writing and storytelling. Referring to men like two-term congressman and US Secretary of Agriculture James C. Wilson, one of George’s professors at Iowa State, she writes, “Those were the teachers who became George’s heroes, generous men who loved both books and cows, men who were as happy examining soil samples as listening to Bach. George wanted to be like them in every detail.”

Rising above the scores of books written for kids, this is the first scholarly biography of Carver in thirty years, and surely excels above all others in examining how his personal life and love interests impacted his career.

Reviewed by Matt Sutherland

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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