The Lost World of James Smithson: Science, Revolution, and the Birth of the Smithsonian : In 1836 the United States government received a strange and unprecedented gift - a half-million dollar bequest to establish a foundation in Washington "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." The Smithsonian Institution, as it would be called, eventually grew into the largest museum and research complex in the world. Yet the man behind what became "America's attic," James Smithson, has remained a shadowy figure for more than 150 years. Drawing on unpublished diaries and letters from across Europe and the United States, historian Heather Ewing tells his compelling story in full.
|History & Geography||Modern|