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Benjamin Franklin

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    Before I read this book, I had no idea what Franklin had done. T

    Before I read this book, I had no idea what Franklin had done. This author explains everything that Benjamin has done and all of his accomplishments. The more of this book you read, the more you will understand. Morgan made all of his statements very clear for his readers.
    The thing I did not like about this book is that the author(Morgan) does not tell you where Ben was born, his parents names, or if he had any siblings. To me, those are huge details that needed to be included. If you want to know about Franklin's personal life, then this is not the right book for you. This author does not take the time to tell you many if any of Benjamin's personal life facts. This author tried to stick with the main things Ben done in his life. How he was a typist and a lot of other accomplishments as well. If that is what you are looking for then this is a great book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2002

    A beautiful introduction to a fascinating character

    I have to confess that I was almost totally ignorant about Benjamin Franklin before picking up this lovely book by Edmund Morgan. My knowledge of Franklin stopped with the basics--trained as a printer in colonial Boston, made his way to Philadelphia while still very young, published Poor Richard's Almanac, proved that lighting was electrical, represented the American colonies in England and newly independent America in France. In slightly more than 300 elegantly written pages, Yale historian Morgan transforms this skeleton into a complex, living breathing man. Although Morgan based this brief history on a wealth of primary documents, he tells Franklin's story effortlessly. I felt as though I had taken a long walk with a very interesting companion, and come away with a whole new understanding of a brilliant and ultimately enigmatic figure. Morgan devotes most of the book to uncovering Franklin's central role in the long series of calculations and miscalculations that pushed thirteen loyal and tractable British colonies into revolution and forged them into the United States. Franklin, we learn, was there at every step, usually behind the scenes, but always extremely influential, a potent catalyst to one of history's great moments. It's as fascinating to follow the evolution of Franklin's own thoughts and feelings about the British Empire (which he loved) and the future of America as it is to follow the fateful steps in Britain and the colonies that led to the American revolution. Just one caveat--Franklin's scientific accomplishments are mentioned now and again, but largely as a side issue. In this, Morgan seems to be following Franklin's own lead; we learn that he viewed the scientific accomplishments that won him universal acclaim as less important than his far-sighted, patient, often personally painful political work. It's hard to imagine a more readable, edifying or enjoyable introduction to Benjamin Franklin. I recommend it highly. Robert Adler Author of Science Firsts: From the Creation of Science to the Science of Creation (Wiley, 2002).

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