Lightning Man

Lightning Man

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In this brilliantly conceived and written biography, Pulitzer Prizea€“winning Kenneth Silverman gives us the long and amazing life of the man eulogized by the New York Herald in 1872 as a€œperhaps the most illustrious American of his age.a€ Silverman presents Samuel Morse in all his complexity. There is the gifted and prolific painter (more than three hundred portraits and larger historical canvases) and pioneer photographer, who gave the first lectures on art in America, became the first Professor of Fine Arts at an American college (New York University), and founded the National Academy of Design. There is the republican idealist, prominent in antebellum politics, who ran for Congress and for mayor of New York. But most important, there is the inventor of the American electromagnetic telegraph, which earned Morse the name Lightning Man and brought him the fame he sought. In these pages, we witness the evolution of the great invention from its inception as an idea to its introduction to the worlda€”an event that astonished Morsea€™s contemporaries and was considered the supreme expression of the countrya€™s inventive genius. We see how it transformed commerce, journalism, transportation, military affairs, diplomacy, and the very shape of daily life, ushering in the modern era of communication. But we discover as well that Morse viewed his existence as accursed rather than illustrious, his every achievement seeming to end in loss and defeat: his most ambitious canvases went unsold; his beloved republic imploded into civil war, making it unlivable for him; and the commercial success of the telegraph engulfed him in lawsuits challenging the originality and ownership of his invention. Lightning Man is the first biography of Samuel F. B. Morse in sixty years. It is a revelation of the life of a fascinating and profoundly troubled American genius. From the Hardcover edition.... saying that he had produced several photographs a€œof more or less perfectnessa€ three weeks before Gouraud arrived in New York. ... Gouraud and Morse began attacking each other through lengthy letters to the editor, in what the press played up as the ... claiming to have improved Daguerrea#39;s processa€”a€œone more in his long list of self-illusions.... after having invented the Electric Telegraph. ... It confirmed that Daguerre had received defamatory statements about Gouraud from Morse.

Title:Lightning Man
Author: Kenneth Silverman
Publisher:Knopf Group E-Books - 2010-04-07

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