The life of William Miner demonstrated that success in America could still depend, not on "who you were, but on what you could do." After he was orphaned at 10, William Miner was raised on a humble homestead near Chazy, NY. On the farm he learned the value of hard work. When he was 18, he traveled west, where he eventually made his fortune by building a leading railroad appliance business in Chicago. He returned to Chazy in the early 1900s and transformed the old homestead into a 15,000-acre model farm and built a famous rural school, a state-of-the-art hospital and hydro-electric dams to bring the magic of electricity to the area. His foundation still funds the school, the hospital, and the agricultural research institute. After his death, time and tales have layered the man with legends. Burke's biography liberates the man from the myth and concludes that the man, more than the myth, proved truly larger than life.