The latest online Whitman Review has a short article about the upcoming book The Secret History of the First U.S. Mint by Len Augsburger and Joel Orosz.
How did the son of a poor farmer grow up to buy a priceless treasure of American history? And why—if his mission was preservation—did he ultimately destroy it?
Frank H. Stewart is both the hero and the villain in this remarkable tale ripped from the headlines of early 20th-century Philadelphia. He was a high-school dropout . . . who wrote the definitive history of our nation's first coin factory. He was no art connoisseur . . . and yet he commissioned unforgettable paintings of the first U.S. Mint, by famous artists. A poor boy made good, Stewart bought the old Mint, labored to preserve it, and failed in the most dramatic way possible.
Could his later acts of commemoration redeem his failures in preservation?
The Secret History of the First U.S. Mint tells, for the first time, the full story of the paradoxical Frank H. Stewart and his self-appointed life's mission to celebrate an irreplaceable slice of our nation's heritage. This groundbreaking new book is filled with dozens of sketches, paintings, and photographs of the first Mint that have been preserved in archival collections for decades, and have not been seen by living numismatists until now.
Authors Len Augsburger and Joel Orosz
The Secret History of the First U.S. Mint will debut at the FUN Show in January 2011. After that it will be available online (including here, at whitmanbooks.com) and from booksellers nationwide.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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