Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought

Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought

by Jerry Weinberger
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Bobbing and weaving between the opposing views of Franklin as the first embodiment of the self-made American hero and as a shallow and self-serving moralist, Weinberger (political science, Michigan State U.) says his spiritual and intellectual journey was marked by a deeply serious and disturbing encounter with the big questions of life, but that journey led to a… See more details below

Overview

Bobbing and weaving between the opposing views of Franklin as the first embodiment of the self-made American hero and as a shallow and self-serving moralist, Weinberger (political science, Michigan State U.) says his spiritual and intellectual journey was marked by a deeply serious and disturbing encounter with the big questions of life, but that journey led to a skepticism even more radical and thoughtfully grounded than the one scholarship says he rejected. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Weekly Standard
Weinberger's book offers a revolutionary reevaluation of Franklin's thought.
Christopher Hitchens

An elegant and fascinating companion to, and analysis of, the work of our cleverest Founding Father.
Atlantic Monthly

Library Journal
This book is not another conventional biography of America's most famous self-made man. Instead, Weinberger (political science, Michigan State Univ.) examines the evolution of Franklin's intellectual life with a particular focus on the development of his moral, political, and religious thought. Weinberger uses Franklin's Autobiography as a window into the man's thinking. He argues that a careful reading of it reveals more about Franklin and his personal philosophy than any of his other writings do. Its writing, late in life, offered Franklin the opportunity to tell readers what he had concluded was most important. Weinberger argues that despite the seeming contradictions in Franklin's life and writings, he was ultimately true to himself and developed a unified, remarkable, and relevant philosophy of life. Weinberger also offers an in-depth look at Franklin's masterly use of humor, showing that it remains an important and often overlooked medium for his deepest thoughts. Well researched and well written, this intellectual biography is for both the scholar and the lay reader. Recommended for libraries with a special interest in Franklin and the development of American philosophy; libraries looking for a more traditional biography may want to consider Walter Isaacson's Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.-Robert Flatley, Kutztown Univ. Lib., PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780700613960
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Series:
American Political Thought Series
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.13(d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Weinberger is professor of political science at Michigan State University and an adjunct fellow of the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He is also the author of Science, Faith, and Politics: Francis Bacon and the Utopian Roots of the Modern Age and Francis Bacon: The History of the Reign of King Henry the Seventh—A New Edition with Introduction, Annotation, and Interpretive Essay.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >