Benjamin Franklin

By Walter Isaacson,

Book cover of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Book description

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…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Benjamin Franklin as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Walter Isaacson’s Benjamin Franklin ranks among the top of Isaacson’s excellent biographies.

He provides thorough detail and background of Franklin’s life, examining him through the eyes of the quintessential American: an entrepreneur, a writer, a small businessman, a cosmopolitan, and a statesman (albeit lacking the higher offices). 

Isaacson briefly treats Franklin’s religious views and the reasons why Franklin moved away from the Puritan faith of his forebearers and embraced a creed more akin to deism. 

The Benjamin Franklin most of us know—from the bullet points of our schooling to the placid face on the one-hundred-dollar bill—is a stick figure compared to the flesh-and-blood Ben Franklin who leaps from the pages of this book like a Tasmania devil. Yes, Franklin is one of the more famous of our founding fathers, but he’s lesser known for being the father of a bastard, William Franklin, who fathered his own bastard, William Temple Franklin, who went on to become his grandfather’s secretary in the decades Ben Franklin spent in England and France as America’s diplomat before and during the…

From Brian's list on history to evoke “who knew?”.

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