This brilliantly conceived biography is the very American tale of a quiet man, raised by religious zealots, who became a gifted and prolific painter (more than three hundred portraits and historical canvases), became the first Professor of Fine Arts at an American college, and founded the National Academy of Design. A classic overachiever, this was simply t eugh for Samuel F. B. Morse; he subsequently ran for Congress and mayor of New York. Lastly, in his most famous life's work, he invented a machine that was to transform commerce, communication, transportation, military affairs, diplomacy, and the course of the modern world. What invention could be so revolutionary? The telegraph, of course-and the eponymous Morse code. Here is the story of an incredible invention, and an engrossing life, by a Bancroft- and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Kenneth Silverman is Professor Emeritus of English at New York University. His other books include Timothy Dwight, A Cultural History of the American Revolution, Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance, and Houdini!!! The Life of Ehrich Weiss. He is winner of the Bancroft Prize in American History and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography for The Life and Times of Cotton Mather.