Franklin

Franklin

4.1 10
by Thomas Fleming
     
 
New York Times bestselling historian Thomas Fleming brings his extraordinary biographical talents to bear upon Benjamin Franklin, perhaps the least understood of America's revolutionary giants. For this reappraisal, Fleming concentrates on the mature Franklin, the man who lived nearly thirty years beyond the point where he ended his famous Autobiography. The poor boy,

Overview

New York Times bestselling historian Thomas Fleming brings his extraordinary biographical talents to bear upon Benjamin Franklin, perhaps the least understood of America's revolutionary giants. For this reappraisal, Fleming concentrates on the mature Franklin, the man who lived nearly thirty years beyond the point where he ended his famous Autobiography. The poor boy, the miserly young printer, has become a decidedly more complex and cultured man. In scene after vivid scene, Fleming shows us how Franklin's unique blend of faith and courage, humor and wisdom presided over the birth of the American nation.

Interwoven in this political history is a moving, almost forgotten personal drama - the conflict between Franklin and his son William, the royal governor of New Jersey, the "thorough courtier," as Franklin called him. Year by year, we watch the two men drift apart as the quarrel between America and England deepens - yet always reaching across the gulf with words of personal affection.

Finally comes the climactic confrontation, when a fully disillusioned Franklin returns from eleven years in England to confront the son for whom independence is a hated word. With him, Franklin brings William's son Temple, educated in England. The bitter political quarrel soon forces father and grandfather to fight for the boy's loyalty.

This personalization of history is Thomas Fleming's hallmark.

Almost as revealing as the dramatization of Franklin's battle with his son is the chronicle of Franklin's years in England before the Revolution. We see the network of friendships he created, the deep feeling with which he and William visited the ancestral village of Ecton, the fascinating blend of emotion and reason in his crucial testimony before Parliament at the height of the Stamp Act furor in 1766.

Then we see this innate passion for England slowly fade during the next eight years as Franklin struggles to defend America from Parliament's greedy prejudice and - another forgotten story - simultaneously to establish a fourteenth colony on the Ohio. As always, Fleming combines colorful anecdote and shrewd analysis of men and motives. And Franklin being Franklin, there is also the constant spice of humor.

We see him stopping at a country inn and emptying the chairs by the fire by booming: "Boy, get my horse a quart of oysters." Solemnly, he informs historian Edward Gibbon that he would provide him with "ample materials" on the decline and fall of the British Empire. The war won, he cheerfully assures English friends that their only hope now was to dissolve Parliament for good and "send delegates to Congress."

We see him using humor to cope with the egotism and paranoia of other Americans in Paris. Finally, we witness him as mon cher papa, the friend and aspiring lover of two beautiful French women, wooing them with the wittiest essays ever written by a seventy-six-year-old suitor.

But in all the byplay, personal and political, one theme dominates: Franklin's dedication to America - a commitment that transcended all others in his life and inspired him to dare the political lightning. It is what makes this book important reading now and in the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940016354880
Publisher:
New Word City, Inc.
Publication date:
09/06/2016
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
23,422
File size:
11 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Thomas Fleming is one of the most respected and prolific historians and novelists of our time. He has written twenty nonfiction books that have won prizes and praise from critics and fellow historians, many with a special focus on the American Revolution. He has also written twenty-three historical novels, many of them bestsellers.

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Franklin 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating Man Thomas Fleming is a well-known historian and New York Times bestselling author. I have been a fan of his for years. His biography of Benjamin Franklin doesn't disappoint. Filled with lots of  vivid detail, he paints a picture of a very human Franklin. I found especially moving his stories of Franklin's turbulent relationship with his son. High recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have started to read Thomas Fleming's book on Benjamin Franklin and it is very interesting. Mr Fleming goes into great detail about Benjamin Franklin's accomplishments and personal life. When reading this book you discover what an accomplished statesman and inventor Mr Franklin is, and have a greater appreciation about the many statesmen who were the Founding Fathers of the United States.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best biographies I have read in a long time. Very detailed but easy reading. You will be sorry if you miss reading this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would've liked sources, refs, or footnotes, but generally this is a detailed and interesting account by a big fan of Franklin. Sadly, the publisher did a HORRIBLE job with copyediting and proofreading. The content, however, is still compelling.
Saint-GermainBS More than 1 year ago
I consider this biography of Benjamin Franklin by Thomas Fleming a "must read" for anyone interested in the American Revolution and the War for Independence. It is filled with detail, but in an easy-to-read style that does not bore one to sleep. I learned very much from this book, and it has peaked my interest to learn more. I recommend Franklin by Thomas Fleming very highly.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I luv benjimen franklin
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The font is so small on Nook HD+ that I can't read it. Can not change the text size.