Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

An American Life

Book - 2003
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During his 84-year life Benjamin Franklin was America's best scientist, inventor, publisher, business strategist, diplomat, and writer. He was also one of its most practical political thinkers. America's first great publicist, he carefully crafted his own persona, portrayed it in public and polished it for posterity. In this riveting new biography Walter Isaacson provides readers with a full portrait of Franklin's public and private life - his loyal but neglected wife, his bastard son with whom he broke over going to war with England, his endless replacement families and his many amorous, but probably unconsummated, liaisons. But this is not just a biography of Benjamin Franklin but rather a fascinating look at American and European political history at that time. Isaacson examines the run up to the Revolutionary war, the intimate relations between Britain, France and the colonies and the decisive events that led to America's independence. Just as David McCullough brought life to the historic figure of John Adams, Isaacson portrays Franklin in the flesh, showing readers how this radical man helped define America's national character and personality.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2003
ISBN: 9780684807614
0684807610
Branch Call Number: 973.3 FRA ISA
Characteristics: x, 590 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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g
Gana_G
Nov 13, 2016

that is not only a story of one person, it is the story of the nation. As always, Walter Isaacson beautifully described every significance of Benjamin Franklin. I just loved it.

r
Rainman
Mar 27, 2016

A revealing look at an intriguing man and a national savior: Benjamin Franklin's whole life was dedicated to helping the common man and to establishing the democratic republic of the United States. Isaacson's biography removes both the cartoonish image of Franklin the inventor and the idea that perhaps he was something other than a man like any other man--not without flaws. Isaacson's defense of Franklin's legacy at the end of the book was redundant, for me, because that legacy was clinched in one sentence: "He was the only person to sign all four of [America's] founding papers: the Declaration of Independence, the treaty with France [that brought their assistance to the cause], the peace accord with Britain, and the Constitution." He didn't, of course just sign them. He shaped them. He is very much the founding father, in my opinion.

n
nsystems
Nov 21, 2014

He was as essential as Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. Isaacson does a masterful job with this biography.

i
idmarsh
Sep 20, 2012

Excellent biography on this extraordinary man whose astonishing versatility and creativity produced important innovations in science, culture and politics.

Isaacson's work is thorough and balanced, bringing Franklin's many qualities to life, including his flaws.

I docked one star because of some unnecessary repetition, heavy use of unsubtle alliteration, and the reserving of about half the book's 500 pages to Franklin's role in the formation of the United States. Non-American readers may find the many other aspects of his life at least as interesting or more.

However, still a strongly recommended read.

m
midwestcoast
Feb 11, 2012

Very interesting. Amazing a man can do so much in 80 years of life. Franklin was the first great American....

23520000081869seb Jan 23, 2012

Sept 2011

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surry99
Feb 25, 2017

pious

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