What a character he was. And what a real contribution he made in establishing a new viewpoint on education in the years following the War of Independence. He lived in crowded days --1758-1843. A confirmed and violent patriot he determined that American children should not be taught with English text books, so wrote an American speller, an American grammar, an American reader -- and ultimately, an American dictionary. He and Ben Franklin were the great grandfathers of the phonetic spelling movement. National figures crossed his path -- a variety of experiences in business taught him that he was not intended for a business man. He was one of the founders of Amherst College. The book is adequate -- more interesting than one expects -- not popular in style.