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Webster's edition of this classic is organized to expose the reader to a maximum number of synonyms and antonyms for difficult and often ambiguous English words that are encountered in other works of literature, conversation, or academic examinations. Extremely rare or idiosyncratic words and expressions are given lower priority in the notes compared to words which are ¿difficult, and often encountered¿ in examinations. Rather than supply a single synonym, many are provided for a variety of meanings, allowing readers to better grasp the ambiguity of the English language, and avoid using the notes as a pure crutch. Having the reader decipher a word's meaning within context serves to improve vocabulary retention and understanding. Each page covers words not already highlighted on previous pages. If a difficult word is not noted on a page, chances are that it has been highlighted on a previous page. A more complete thesaurus is supplied at the end of the book; synonyms and antonyms are extracted from Webster's Online Dictionary.
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Horatio Alger, Jr., an author who lived among and for boys and himself remained a boy in heart and association till death, was born at Revere, Massachusetts, January 13, 1834. He was the son of a clergyman, was graduated at Harvard College in 1852, and at its Divinity School in 1860 and was pastor of the Unitarian Church at Brewster, Mass., in 1862-66.
In the latter year he settled in New York and began drawing public attention to the condition and needs of street boys. He mingled with them, gained their confidence showed a personal concern in their affairs, and stimulated them to honest and useful living. With his first story he won the hearts of all red-blooded boys everywhere, and of the seventy or more that followed over a million copies were sold during the author's lifetime.
In his later life he was in appearance a short, stout, bald-headed man, with cordial manners and whimsical views of things that amused all who met him. He died at Natick, Mass., July 18, 1899.
Mr. Alger's stories are as popular now as when first published, because they treat of real live boys who were always up and about-just like the boys found everywhere to-day. They are pure in tone and inspiring in influence, and many reforms in the juvenile life of New York may be traced to them.
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