Customer Reviews for

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Average Rating 4
( 116 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(61)

4 Star

(29)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 61 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 2 of 4
  • Posted July 13, 2012

    This was excellent. I, along with many others, have long consid

    This was excellent. I, along with many others, have long considered Franklin as one on the four most important figures in the birth of the USA. This book not only confirms that but goes on the demonstrate how important he was on the world stage.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    Leandme

    Can somone lendme this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2011

    Thbook rocked

    The book was not zzzzz by the way u r jeals so back off of ben :/

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful Biography.

    Now that I have a far better understanding of who Franklin was, of his character & talents, the things he believed in, the key roll he played in the founding of our nation and of his many accomplishments - I just Love the man.
    Very well written, as are all Walter Isaacson's works.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2011

    What a Guy!

    Great reading and really a good look at the life of perhaps our greatest American (sorry George, Tom, Abe, Teddy, Franklin & Harry). Hard to put down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2005

    Thank God There Was Franklin

    I found this book so fascinating and an inspiration in many ways to my own aspirations in what I want to do in my life and for my life. I didn't realize just how much Franklin was an integral part of the beginning of this nation and especially the early notion of what it meant to be an american; a notion that still persists today.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2005

    Meeting Ben Franklin!

    This book was excellent. I wish Isaacson would write a book on every major figure of the Founding of this Country. I would read them all. As a History major, who struggles to remember things, this book helped me see Benjamin Franklin as the man and statesmen. By realizing Franklin's faults (treatment of family, relationship with son, etc.), you are able to think of him not as a man of marble, but a man of flesh. I recommend this book to all!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2005

    Good Ole Ben

    This book is not only compelling but is also a good defense for Franklin in his relative indifference to religion as it pertained to predestination, but praised it for its ability to be of use for the common good. John Adams is almost vilified however because of his straight forward nature.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2004

    Great Franklin Biography!!!

    This book was the Franklin biography I was waiting for. Isaacson presents the entire life of Franklin in a very enjoyable and easy to read biography. I was most struck with how manipulative Benjamin Franklin could be. We all owe him an enormous debt as American citizens for how he 'played' the French to provide the badly needed financial and military support to win our revolutionary war without obligating ourselves to their nation. We need a Benjamin Franklin today sitting in Paris and getting the French back on board with the United States. Lastly, Franklin's conceptions of Religion are probably pretty widely held today in a similar fashion among good citizens who revere God, but worry themselves not with dogmatic church beliefs. Good job isaacson and thank you for the great book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2004

    Great Book

    This book was informative, well written, and interesting. Truly Benjamin Franklin, was a genius, in my opinion ranking even higher than James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, who were definitely two of the most intellectually gifted among the founding fathers, with the exception of Franklin of course.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2004

    An American Rediscovered

    Walter Isaacson¿s book, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, is an insightful and impeccably researched piece of scholarly work. This biography transports the reader right into the world of one of America¿s best-known and loved founding fathers. Isaacson¿s writing is clear, concise soundly documented, and readable. The book overflows with interesting facts previously unknown or forgotten. The reader will learn of Franklin and a young America the struggle for independence from England. Franklin¿s life was a very intricate one, but Isaacson successfully unravels and separates fact from fiction to show the reader Franklin¿s impressive successes and poignant failures. Franklin is rightfully given credit for his participation in the political and philosophical ideas that shaped America. His resolve helped create an accord with France that was crucial to America¿s negotiations with England. Walter Isaacson¿s 493 page book is a heavy read that takes getting into, but it is very much worth the effort. It covers Franklin, the inventor, philosopher, entrepreneur, philanthropist, diplomat, husband, father, friend and rebel. The book is brimming with important insights into a beloved American. Benjamin Franklin is at times called our ¿first American¿, and Walter Isaacson¿s biography demonstrates why. Isaacson¿s book is the definitive account of Benjamin Franklin¿s life and should be read by all red, white and blue Americans.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2004

    Pygmalion

    Too often with historical figures, and especially with American founding figures, the object has a tendancy to petrify -- to not just lose relevance, but to become simply that smiling figure on some banknote. This process is especially robust for Franklin whose amazing breadth of accomplishments and anticipations add to his aura of unbelieveability. Isaacson reminds us, with humor, humanity, meticulous research and a bit of, yeah, loving partiality (often charming in a biographer) as well as insights into Franklin's what we would call today, slightly conniving nature, that this amazing man, this giant, this visionary, this 200-years-ahead-of-his-time thinker was actually someone with whom you might have enjoyed a spirited conversation, and who really, really DID change the fundamental direction of the planet.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2004

    Wonderful, Wonderful Man and Book

    I can't really say more. The writer's style makes this easy to understand. I appreciate that Franklin's weaknesses were not augmented by the author, but put in context. I found this a very objective depiction of the life of this godsend of a man, without whom we most likely wouldn't enjoy the freedoms we have today. Well done! P.S. As an optometrist, I appreciate his invention of the bifocal.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2003

    An American for America

    After listening to Ben Franklin, An American Life, I came to realize that Ben Franklin was not only this kind old gentleman as portrayed in many motion pictures of today but a living, breathing person of his time. He had the ability and ambition to change his fortunes and develop the circumstances that he found himself in. He had the ability to compromise, change and accept what, at the time he lived, might have been slightly less than his immediate goal. He developed within the confines of his time, a life that was riche and diversified while maintaining his basic principles. An example of this is his carting his printing materials to his shop to show the towns people that he was very industrious. This act alone was not a necessary component of his success. His development of friendships and relationships that lasted throughout his life allowed him to grow as a person and helped as he became involved in the development of this republic, both here and abroad. Some of these relationships became estranged, thus creating some personal pain, the main one which was his relationship with his illegitimate son. I particularly liked the last segments where the author was comparing comments made by various other authors on Ben Franklin¿s life. It was interesting to see how they have changed from less flattering to more flattering over time. The reader, Boyd Gaines, maintained an excellent pace and was easy to listen to. Something that I might criticize is, and it is really just a minor point, is his trying to use various accents to differentiate the characters. It did create the affect he was trying to achieve but at times it was distracting. I have listened to this book twice and will do so again. It is one that should be in your collection even if you are not a history buff.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2003

    The many Bens

    I'll add one more voice to the chorus - a wonderful book that highlights the complexity, warts and all, of the one man besides Washington without whom we probably could not have won our independence. I especially liked the author's commentary on the nonsense believed about Franklin through the years by people who ought to have known better. Ben would have laughed out loud to find that he had taken them in with one of his well-crafted personae.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2003

    Ben Franklin, the seducer

    I¿m a history buff, who also studies the art of seduction, and happened to come across an advanced copy of this through my work. And it¿s the seduction aspect, why I really like this book. Mr. Franklin was such a charmer! He was a smooth-talker, and knew how to make things happen! Everyone felt comfortable talking to him about anything¿ the perfect seducer! He was very well-spoken, and was a self-made man; he climbed his own way up the social ladder. The most fascinating part of this book is how Ben Franklin created, and continually revamped and redesigned, his own image. He was very polished, and behaved in an almost-calculated manner. He clung closely to his middle-class upbringings, and never fully trusted the upper-class with whom he socialized. I highly recommend this, along with my personal favorite, Make Every Girl Want You by John Fate and Steve Reil. That book helped me become a seducer; this book, however, allowed me to live vicariously through one, and observe his every move for 600 pages.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2003

    The DAR's like this one!!

    As a member of the Daughter's of the American Revolution, I thought this book was a keeper! Funny,witty,charming and yet a great summary of his character and life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 61 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 2 of 4