One Man s Remarkable Story of SurvivalNow Completely Revised and Updated Millions lost everything during the Great Depression, but for young Harry Cornwall the hard times set the stage for a remarkable tale of grit, determination and a whole lot of pluck. A true story of triumph over tragedy, Down from Arcturus chronicles one boy s unlikely journey from humble beginnings as he eventually becomes one of the country s premier engineers. Raised in a 240-square-foot house in California s Central Valley Steinbeck s Grapes of Wrath country Harry Cornwall details the extreme hardships of the time. But the nerve he shows starting a poetry-writing business, hustling for newspaper subscriptions, salvaging sweets from the nearby bakery incinerator hints at the supreme fortitude of one driven to achieve. So it s surprise when Cornwall makes it into college, putting himself through engineering school by working in mining operations. And when an accident paralyzes his left arm, Cornwall doesn t let that stop him, even swimming the radius of a Sierra Nevada lake on a bet that nets some much-needed cash. Cornwall continues to realize outsize accomplishments, submitting patent after patent including the one for the pull-top tab on aluminum cans. As he settles down with a family, what emerges is a uniquely American life story, borne of a uniquely American time. At once a historical account and intimate memoir, Down from Arcturus will stay with you long after the book is closed.