Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: George Washington Carver by John Perry

Before reading this book the amount of information I knew about George Washington Carver was that he came from slaves, was well educated, and was a major advocate for peanuts. After reading John Perry’s George Washington Carver from the Christian Encounters Series, I can honestly say I did learn a lot more about this unique man.

George Washington Carver was the son of a slave woman and sickly from birth. After he was rescued from a kidnapping and his mother was never found, his white owners took him and his brother into their home and raised them as their own. Since George was physically unable to do tough farm labor he relished in learning and was fascinated with science and the natural world.

Carver moved around as he got older in order to get a good education. He took on several different jobs and lived humbly to pay his expenses. Despite discrimination and a lack of resources, Carver succeeded. He went to college and obtained his graduate degree. Soon after he was sought out by Booker T. Washington to teach at the newly opened school just for black students; Tuskegee Institute. Carver accepted the position.

It is at Tuskegee that Carver taught students and performed his unorthodox experiments. He had his run-ins with the faculty on what he felt he should be doing, what he deserved, and he felt underappreciated often. Over the decades he created lasting relationships with those he came in contact with and became a favorite and inspiring man among the students.

Eventually Carver became a public figure, speaking for farmers and the government on the benefits to certain crops. He also toured with speeches and taught different methods to increase crops in addition to the numerous uses of peanuts and sweet potatoes. Even though other opportunities and higher pay were offered, Carver stayed at Tuskegee. Through his humility and obvious knowledge he opened the minds of many to what a black person was capable of.

This book was a fairly quick read since the chapters are short. Unfortunately, I found much of the information repetitive and it really slowed down the pace of the book. To be honest, some parts were boring though there were some interesting facts on the man. It is hard to imagine the grace such a brilliant man had when encountering all the racism of the south… especially with the prestige his name carried in the country during his later years.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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