Wow, was this a lucky surprise. I picked it up off the shelf at the library, randomly browsing their history section when another book I was looking for was out. Here' s a link to the book on Amazon:
The Invention of Air: A Story Of Science, Faith, Revolution, And The Birth Of America
The book is the story of Joseph Priestley, who though he is not nearly as well known as the founding fathers of the US, was friend to many of them, published over 150 works, and did no less than discover oxygen and the concept of biosystems.