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Benjamin Franklin: A Biography

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The first full-scale biography of Franklin in over 60 years! This fully documented account of the most versatile man of his age paints a lively portrait of the writer who invented the lightning conductor; the politician who spent years as an emissary in London trying to prevent the Revolutionary War; and the statesman who served as the US representative in Paris during the The first full-scale biography of Franklin in over 60 years! This fully documented account of the most versatile man of his age paints a lively portrait of the writer who invented the lightning conductor; the politician who spent years as an emissary in London trying to prevent the Revolutionary War; and the statesman who served as the US representative in Paris during the war, intriguing for French aid and American victory. A masterly work.


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The first full-scale biography of Franklin in over 60 years! This fully documented account of the most versatile man of his age paints a lively portrait of the writer who invented the lightning conductor; the politician who spent years as an emissary in London trying to prevent the Revolutionary War; and the statesman who served as the US representative in Paris during the The first full-scale biography of Franklin in over 60 years! This fully documented account of the most versatile man of his age paints a lively portrait of the writer who invented the lightning conductor; the politician who spent years as an emissary in London trying to prevent the Revolutionary War; and the statesman who served as the US representative in Paris during the war, intriguing for French aid and American victory. A masterly work.

30 review for Benjamin Franklin: A Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joe Stack

    When this was published in 1983, it was the first full scale biography of Franklin in 60 years. This biography is evidence that his life was filled with a variety of accomplishments in business, writing, science, politics, diplomacy, and other areas. In his time he may have been the equal to Thomas Jefferson. Compared to his exciting life this biography was a bit flat, losing my interest at times. This may have been because of the author’s extensive use of long passages from Franklin’s writings. When this was published in 1983, it was the first full scale biography of Franklin in 60 years. This biography is evidence that his life was filled with a variety of accomplishments in business, writing, science, politics, diplomacy, and other areas. In his time he may have been the equal to Thomas Jefferson. Compared to his exciting life this biography was a bit flat, losing my interest at times. This may have been because of the author’s extensive use of long passages from Franklin’s writings. When the author describes a number of Franklin’s inventions towards the end of the book, I was disappointed that there weren’t pictures or renderings of them. If you, the reader, are not familiar with Franklin’s accomplishments, this biography is a revelation regarding the important and critical parts he had in the growth of Philadelphia and the success of the American Revolution here and abroad. This is the first full scale biography on Franklin that I’ve read. I found myself amazed on his role. I think other Founding Fathers, such as, Washington, Adams, Jeffferson, Madison, etc., have gotten more attention. Franklin deserves as much.

  2. 4 out of 5

    David Bradshaw

    his fame as a common man/scientist gave him entry into a wider world - & this shaped our nation's beginning honored for his contributions in the study & practical applications of electricity by Royal Society in UK and France - his connections and friendships help form an alliance with France failures of imagination made England's rulers blind to the catastrophe unfolding from a short-sighted attempt to tax Americans for their defense on the frontiers - when war with France had been worldwide. Hutc his fame as a common man/scientist gave him entry into a wider world - & this shaped our nation's beginning honored for his contributions in the study & practical applications of electricity by Royal Society in UK and France - his connections and friendships help form an alliance with France failures of imagination made England's rulers blind to the catastrophe unfolding from a short-sighted attempt to tax Americans for their defense on the frontiers - when war with France had been worldwide. Hutchinson letters and attacks of Franklin's character made compromise impossible. Within a short-time, the UK offered all that was asked by the colonies but war substituted for diplomacy. 'In times of crisis, as all men have found, from Trotsky downward, the first mistake is to absent oneself.' forcing Franklin to remove was the worst action of UK ruling party. obloquy & guilt to Lord North's govt. believing govt. had paid for settlement

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jamiller24

    Brings Benjamin Franklin to life. Without him we might not have had our democracy and freedom from the British!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julie &

    an interesting book to read after reading Ben's Autobiography - esp the 2nd half of the book, about the revolutionary war, and spy rings and intrigue. an interesting book to read after reading Ben's Autobiography - esp the 2nd half of the book, about the revolutionary war, and spy rings and intrigue.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carter Hydrick

    Enjoyable read about a truly fascinating and world-changing historical figure--in so many ways. Some of the writing and conclusions/assumptions seemed disconnected, but the reveal of how much Franklin changed our world is impressive.

  6. 4 out of 5

    TaleofGenji

    I registered a book at BookCrossing.com! http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/11616562 I registered a book at BookCrossing.com! http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/11616562

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

  8. 4 out of 5

    Terri Weitze

    Good resource on the life of Benjamin Franklin.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rushiraj Dixit

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Church

  12. 5 out of 5

    Donna

  13. 4 out of 5

    James

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aseem Emvee

  15. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Baark

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rebes

  17. 5 out of 5

    Treeewoman

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Thompson

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris Chivleatto

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tara Gohlmann

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Zach Schneider

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Glenn

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tony Bottrell

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sadnan

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