Little George Carver was not content to stay on Uncle Mose and Aunt Sue's farm in Missouri, doing chores and playing with his older brother Jim. He wanted to go to school and, when he was barely knee high to a grasshopper, he left home to find out "how come" and "what for?" And these simple questions led him to his great work in the field of botany and chemurgy.
In the years that followed George worked and studied hard. He was a "natural born" scientist as well as a painter, and it was a hard choice to decide between these two careers but he strongly felt that with science he could do something to help his people, so he enrolled at Iowa State College.
A few years after his graduation he went to teach botany at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. There he saw for the first time the terrible plight of the Southern farmers. In his search for some new crop for them to grow, he came across the peanut which no one considered good for anything but feeding to elephants in the circus. Only Dr. Carver thought the peanut could be put to better uses than that and he set to work in his homemade laboratory to find out what they were. And so during the years when the world was changing so dramatically with the revolutionary inventions of men like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver was quietly making his own revolution in the agriculture of the South.
In The Story of George Washington Carver Arna Bontemps has vividly recreated the life of a great American.
—from the dust jacket
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