A parallel period piece to The Peabody Sisters of Salem, this lacks perhaps the flair and appeal of outstanding personalities as evidenced in the earlier book since Mary Peabody was the most self-effacing of the Peabody sisters and Horace Mann's life here is viewed in the sphere of public service rather than private life. His first project, the establishment of a public asylum for the insane at Worcester at a time when lunatics were interned under brutal conditions, led on to his prolonged crusade for free education in the United States. Mary Peabody, who became his second wife, was at that time engaged in progressive teaching techniques with her sister, Elizabeth, and shared his vision. Mann's fight for his ideals, which brought him into bitter opposition with Daniel Webster, began when he was elected Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education and the controversy continued throughout the nation and the world during his tenure of the Presidency at Antioch. But he served his ideal faithfully, and died secure in the knowledge that he need not ""be ashamed to die"" since he had ""won some victory for humanity"". Perhaps not for the wide audience of the first which had the stimulus of a book club selection, but a substantial and often stirring biography for the thoughtful readers and interested followers of the earlier book.