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

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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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780700615841
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Publication date: 09/07/2005
Series: American Political Thought Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jerry Weinberger is professor of political science at Michigan State University, where he is director of the LeFrak Forum and co-director of the Symposium on Science, Reason, and Modern Democracy. 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.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Written Word Remains
1. The Autobiography: A Comic Moral Saga?
2. The Autobiography: Or Just a Pack of Lies?
3. The Philosophical Wag
4. Shameless Ben
5. The Metaphysical Follies
6. Dialectics and the Critique of Morality
7. The Political Principles of the Good Life
8. The Political Project of the Good Life
Conclusion: Will the Real Ben Franklin Please Stand Up?

What People are Saying About This

Andrew Sullivan

Ravishingly subversive.

Harvey Mansfield

Franklin's many masks are examined and lifted to disclose the one real man—a thinker—behind them. Weinberger gives us the radical truth about Franklin in a book that is a delight to read. (Harvey Mansfield, author of America's Constitutional Soul)

Christopher Hitchens

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

Ralph Lerner

With the focus of a bloodhound and the tenacity of a bulldog Weinberger follows Ben's spoofs and sophisms into whatever cul-de-sac they lead. His Franklin is a coherent philosopher-skeptic who teases us into thinking for ourselves. . . . A bracing, hilarious, and enlightening experience. (Ralph Lerner, author of The Thinking Revolutionary: Principle and Practice in the New Republic)

Ralph Ketcham

A lively, clever and well-informed account that's sure to raise controversy. (Ralph Ketcham, author of The Political Thought of Ben Franklin)

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