A NSTA Best STEM Book
Explore the extraordinary achievement of Cyrus Field and one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century: laying a transatlantic telegraph cable to create instant communication between two continents.
Cyrus Field had a big dream to connect North America and the United Kingdom with a telegraph line, which would enable instant communication. In the mid-1800s, no one knew if it was possible. That didn't dissuade Cyrus, who set out to learn about undersea cables and built a network of influential people to raise money and create interest in his project. Cyrus experienced numerous setbacks: many years of delays and failed attempts, millions of dollars lost, suspected sabotage, technological problems, and more. But Cyrus did not give up and forged ahead, ultimately realizing his dream in the summer of 1866. Mary Morton Cowan brilliantly captures Cyrus's life and his steadfast determination to achieve his dream.
“The relentless persistence of one man resulted in one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century and the transformation of international communication… (m)aking extensive use of primary sources, Cowan admiringly chronicles how… Field endured delays and failed attempts…Her well-paced, vivid account makes for a read that is at times gripping. An inspiring portrait of a man with a dream and his steadfast determination to achieve it.” –Kirkus Reviews
“This detailed biography, filled with archival reproductions, chronicles Field’s rise from a penniless paper mill worker to one of the richest men in New York City. Cowan relates the scientific and historical events that shaped the process….there is much for young entrepreneurs to learn.” -Booklist
“Cowan offers a detailed look at the great fortitude of an American pioneer who had an audacious vision. Field's story is filled with examples of the kind of determination that is always beneficial for teens to experience in nonfiction...(and) provides insight about events that many teens do not know about, making this a good addition for library collections serving young adults.” -VOYA