Friday, 25 November 2011

Book Review - George Washington Carver - John Perry


This book is part of the Close Encounters of the Christian Kind written by John Perry.  I had heard of George Washington Carver but never really knew much about him. 

Carver is known for his research in discovering many uses for the peanut.  Reading this book uncovered a whole other side to what was a very complex individual.  We get to accompany the writer on an adventure into Carver's life and accomplishments.  Perry has an incredible knack of drawing you in and making the pages come alive, he has an easy writing style and language that almost makes you feel you are personally getting to know Carver.

From humble beginnings Carver, born in 1864 made many contributions to society.  Despite segregation and racism denying him an education his determination and faith drove him to better himself.  He pursued an education and worked to see better conditions and sustained self sufficiency for his community and the population at large.  In 1896 he completed his masters degree and he was asked to join the faculty of the Tuskegee Institute by Booker T Washington.

His research at the institute resulted in the creation of more than 300 products from peanuts such as cooking oil, peanut butter and paint. He also created more than 100 products from sweet potatoes and is responsible for inventing synthetic materials, such as marble and plywood, even inventing the dye which is still used in crayons. A talented artist, Carver created some of his own paints using local clays, he produced many works of art, but sadly most were destroyed in a fire.

His thirst for knowledge is admirable, not being content in following one field he became expert in a number of disciplines, not allowing his circumstances to define him or discourage him, he made a path for himself, was generous with his time and instilled hope in all who heard him speak, with a view that 'Any man could start with nothing and achieve great things'.

 I would definitely recommend reading this book, it's not only informative but is great look at where courage, discipline, focus and determination can take you.


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