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

by Philip Dray
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Overview

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

“We forget, living in this era of heavily patented research and closely guarded results, how wonderfully exciting the scientific world used to be. In Stealing God’s Thunder, the story of Benjamin Franklin’s invention of the lightening rod and the resulting consequences, that sense of wonder and excitement and even fear comes beautifully to life. Philip Dray does a remarkable job of illuminating the ever-fascinating Franklin and, more than that, the way that he, and his invention, helped create the new scientific world.”
Deborah Blum, author of Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection

Stealing God’s Thunder is a concise, richly detailed biography of Benjamin Franklin viewed through the lens of his scientific inquiry and its ramifications for American democracy. Today we think of Benjamin Franklin as a founder of American independence who also dabbled in science. But in Franklin’s day it was otherwise. Long before he was an eminent statesman, he was famous for his revolutionary scientific work, especially his experiments with lightning and electricity.

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. Set against the backdrop of the Enlightenment and America’s pursuit of political equality for all, Stealing God’s Thunder recounts how Franklin unlocked one of the greatest natural mysteries of his day, the seemingly unknowable powers of electricity and lightning. Rich in historic 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.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588364616
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/02/2005
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,173,600
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

PHILIP DRAY is the author of At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award and the Southern Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Stealing God's Thunder: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Rod and the Invention of America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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