Stealing God's Thunder: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Rod and the Invention of America

Stealing God's Thunder: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Rod and the Invention of America

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by Philip Dray
     
 

ISBN-10: 0812968107

ISBN-13: 9780812968101

Pub. Date: 12/27/2005

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

“Dray captures the genius and ingenuity of Franklin’s scientific thinking and then does something even more fascinating: He shows how science shaped his diplomacy, politics, and Enlightenment philosophy.”
–Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Today we think of Benjamin Franklin as a founder of American

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Overview

“Dray captures the genius and ingenuity of Franklin’s scientific thinking and then does something even more fascinating: He shows how science shaped his diplomacy, politics, and Enlightenment philosophy.”
–Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Today we think of Benjamin Franklin as a founder of American independence who also dabbled in science. But in Franklin’s day, the era of Enlightenment, long before he was an eminent statesman, he was famous for his revolutionary scientific work. Pulitzer Prize finalist Philip Dray uses the evolution of Franklin’s scientific curiosity and empirical thinking as a metaphor for America’s struggle to establish its fundamental values. He recounts how Franklin unlocked one of the greatest natural mysteries of his day, the seemingly unknowable powers of lightning and electricity. Rich in historical detail and based on numerous primary sources, Stealing God’s Thunder is a fascinating original look at one of our most beloved and complex founding fathers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812968101
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/27/2005
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
497,795
Product dimensions:
5.23(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.68(d)

Table of Contents

Introductionxi
Chapter 1"Cotton Mather, Dam You, with a Pox to You"3
Chapter 2Made at Philadelphia23
Chapter 3A Subject of Serene Contemplation63
Chapter 4The Mighty Hand of God102
Chapter 5Electric Ambassador137
Chapter 6The Science of Freedom184
Epilogue213
Acknowledgments225
Bibliography229
Notes241
Index269

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