A World Literature Assignment on Nobel Prize and More
By Kevin Anthony Stoda
Project and other ideas for high school teachers
A curriculum unit on the Nobel Prize in World Literature using the internet resources and primary readings (The unit will include this paper and bibliography.)
The idea of promoting and recognizing great humanitarian contributions to the world in terms of sciences, medicine, literature, and society, i.e. in the form the international prizes for peace, came to Alfred Nobel near the end of his life. However, it is likely that the one person with the singular important influence on Alfred Nobel was Bertha Kinsky von Chinic und Tettau (later von Suttner). She had originally signed on to become the great philanthropist's personal assistant in 1876. The subsequent two decades of written correspondence between Nobel and von Suttner, helped leading him to use most of his great wealth to found what the world sees now as it's most prestigious peace prize. In short, a chance meeting in Paris and the eventual hiring of a Miss Tettau, (later von Suttner) as Alfred's personal assistant in 1876 has certainly proven to be beneficial coincidences in modern humanity.
The first stages of Alfred Nobel's life had been less than easy. Born 1833, in the very year that his father's first firm went bankrupt, Alfred eventually moved with his family to St. Petersburg , Russia , where his father had started working under the Czars as a mechanic. By 1850, young Alfred moved on his own to Paris and began to work in a private laboratory. Soon he was establishing his own business contributions to the family's new found wealth, especially after his travels to Germany and Italy in the early part of that decade created for him important business and research connections. With his family firm's patenting of nitroglycerine in 1863, great profits were beginning to come in for the Nobels.
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