What I knew about George Washington Carver before reading this biography by John Perry, published by Thomas Nelson, for booksneeze.com was minimal. I was aware, as most are, that he had been a famous African-American scientist and that he had discovered more than a 100 different uses for the peanut. Most of my knowledge came from biographies written for children. So, I was very curious and already intrigued when I downloaded the eBook version to review. I genuinely wanted to learn more.
This work is a decent, but brief introduction to a fascinating man. Carver was about much more than peanuts. Because of this work I learned what he had to overcome in order to get an education, that he was a gifted artist and musician, a seeker of truth and a brilliant researcher. Not only was he a life-long student of nature, he was also a highly esteemed and sought after teacher.
Probably unique to this particular biography is Perry’s focus on Carver’s faith and how it influenced his life and work. He loved truth. The more he researched and studied nature the more convinced he was that there had to be a creator, a God, whose fingerprints he could see everywhere. His work and his faith were inseparable.
Perry does an excellent job presenting how Carver responded to the horrific racial prejudice of his day. Carver refused to allow hate to rule him. He understood that evil could be overcome with good. He fought back with a rare civility and won tremendous ground. He could have taken another route altogether and accepted offers for more lucrative positions elsewhere, but instead devoted his life to his people and remained at the Tuskegee Institute, founded by Booker T. Washington, until his death. He basically gave his life to educate and provide skills to help advance and make African-Americans truly free in the United States.
John Perry’s George Washington Carver (Christian Encounters Series) is unquestionably an interesting look at an incredible man’s life. It left me wanting to know even more about him. This narrative is not only the story of a man’s struggle against prejudice, it is also an important demonstration that science and faith can coexist – one does not have to exclude the other. I will definitely purchase a copy of this book for the school library where I work.