Education: Prophet on a Trapeze

One afternoon a Michigan farm boy rushed home, clutching the first map he had drawn at school. His mother saw that it was marked "A." "I think you are going to be like me, Isaiah," said she. "I think you are going to like geography."

Isaiah Bowman did. From the little boy who liked to pore over stones on his father's farm, he grew up to become the nation's top geographer. He wrote 14 books on the subject, was Woodrow Wilson's boundary expert at Versailles ("Tell me what's right," commanded Wilson, "and I'll fight for it"). His name was stamped on far-off...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!