We recommend using a modern web browser such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge with their default settings.
One of the challenge points on the Better World Books 2017 Reading […]
Hello, I'm an eBook!
ATTENTION: This item is an eBook. It can be read on iOS, Android, MAC and PC's with a supported eReader. It is not a physical book. eBooks are available via download immediately after you've checked out.
Shipped from other seller
Converts one physical book into a digital version.
eDelivery converts your used book order into a digital version readable on most devices.
Ships directly from Better World Books
Second City Books
Half Price Books Inc
First Choice Books, Inc.
A Good Read
Dorley House Books
One Stop Shop Bookstore
Milton Ave Books
It was one of the nineteenth century's greatest philanthropic gifts -- and one of its most puzzling mysteries. In 1829, a wealthy English naturalist named James Smithson left his library, mineral collection, and entire fortune to the "United States of America, to found ... an establishment for the increase & diffusion of Knowledge among men" -- even though he had never visited the United States or known any Americans. In this fascinating book, Burleigh pieces together the reclusive benefactor's life, beginning with his origins in the splendidly dissipated eighteenth-century aristocracy as the Paris-born bastard son of the first Duke of Northumberland and a wild adventuress who preserved for her son a fortune through gall and determination.
The book follows Smithson through his university years and his passionate study of minerals across the European continent during the chaos of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Detailed are his imprisonment -- simply for being an Englishman in the wrong place, his experiences in the gambling dens of France, and his lonely and painstaking scientific pursuits.
After Smithson's death, nineteenth-century American politicians were given the task of securing his half-million dollars -- the equivalent today of fifty million -- and then trying to determine how to increase and diffuse knowledge from the muddy, brawling new city of Washington. Burleighdiscloses how Smithson's bequest was nearly lost due to fierce battles among many clashing Americans -- Southern slavers, state's rights advocates, nation-builders, corrupt frontiersmen, and Anglophobes who argued over whether a gift from an Englishman should even be accepted. She also reveals the efforts of the unsung heroes, mainly former president John Quincy Adams, whose tireless efforts finally saw Smithson's curious notion realized in 1846, with a castle housing the United States' first and greatest cultural and scientific establishment.
Our best deal on used books 3 for $10 and just $3 each additional book. Shop and Save
Gift Certificate = Happy Friend + Books donated to families in need. Make Someone Happy »
We match every book you purchase with a book donation. Learn more »
Sign up now to get news, sales and special promotions!
© Better World Books (BetterWorldBooks.com)