If CNN was around at the beginning of our history, the contents of this book are what we would have been watching as our nation's infrastructure, land grant universities, and ideals unfolded with an amazing cast of characters;Inventors, politicians, celebrities, scholars, business owners.
|Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, President Warren G. Harding, and |
businessman Harvey C. Firestone at one of a series of camping trips 1921 in Maryland.
|Photo of |
beside ivy-covered wall of new residence
by John Ross of
Seeing the photos and reading the stories of Edison, Ford, Firestone, and Burbank interacting with one another were fascinating, along with accounts of interations with the Wright brothers, Hellen Keller, Leland Stanford and other dignitaries of the day.
This book gives us insight into the running thread of history and agricultural policy decisions in the context of Darwin, Irish potato famine, poverty, American enthusiasm for inventions and ingenuity and the politics and emergence of the American academic institutions.
So many of the debates and discussions are still relevant today, some ideals having come full circle. This book made history come alive in technicolor.
Decisions regarding plant patenting that Luther Burbank fought so hard for but did not see before his death, continue to evolve and were modified as recently as 1994.
We now see plant patenting issues discussed in response to the medical marijuana laws enacted by states. The pharmaceutical industry, the designated distributor of other medicines, is blocked in distribution, not only by drug laws but by plant patent laws.
How could I not know about Luther Burbank before reading this book? Arbor day was created in his honor and celebrated on his birthday. His birthplace resides "down the road" at Greenfield Village.
Certainly this book has been food for thought.