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The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

Average Rating 4.5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

This book was so well written that I picked up the same author's biography of Teddy Roosevelt even though I am not particularly interested in TR's life. (But, I'm confident I will become interested with Brand's ability to relate a life.) This isn't the best-selling ...
This book was so well written that I picked up the same author's biography of Teddy Roosevelt even though I am not particularly interested in TR's life. (But, I'm confident I will become interested with Brand's ability to relate a life.) This isn't the best-selling biography of Franklin since Brands doesn't have Time-Warner's advertising machine behind him. But having read both this and the current best seller, this is the best-written of the Franklin biographies. The difference between Brands and Isaacson's biographies is the difference between the novel and its sterile Cliff notes.

posted by Anonymous on August 13, 2003

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Only a good read if.....

This book is geared towards college English professors, or those who enjoy looking up every other word in the dictionary. The author was cleary writing this to impress his pals in his literary circles. There must be better books on what is clearly a fascinating life. ...
This book is geared towards college English professors, or those who enjoy looking up every other word in the dictionary. The author was cleary writing this to impress his pals in his literary circles. There must be better books on what is clearly a fascinating life. I found @1-6 words per page that my Ivy league educated friends had no idea what their meanings were. Impressive, HW.

posted by Anonymous on May 13, 2004

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2004

    Only a good read if.....

    This book is geared towards college English professors, or those who enjoy looking up every other word in the dictionary. The author was cleary writing this to impress his pals in his literary circles. There must be better books on what is clearly a fascinating life. I found @1-6 words per page that my Ivy league educated friends had no idea what their meanings were. Impressive, HW.

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2010

    good research, bad writing, bad commentary

    I give the author 4 stars for research, 1 star for writing on the subject, and 1 star for commentary. That averages 2 stars. That is being generous. It is obvious the author gathered lots of material. Unfortunately the author's writing style is haphazard. He goes back and forth and all over the place when writing about something. There are flashbacks, flash forwards, and the like. At times it is hard to follow the story because of jumping back and forth through various time periods and places. Also the commentary is nonsensical. For example, the sentence "Perhaps God was not paying attention" is a case in point. Either God exists or he does not. If God exists then he is omniscient (all knowing). If God does not exist, then he does not exist. It's not possible for God to not pay attention and miss something. Even an Atheist should know this. That's just an example of the preposterous commentary. If the author left that out his wacky commentaries I would have given him another star. Avoid making the mistake I made of paying $10 for this book. Borrow it from the library instead. The author should not be awarded with more royalties for this poorly written book.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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