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Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Title:Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Format Type:eBook PDF / e-Pub
Number of Pages:493
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Read online Benjamin Franklin: An American Life streaming Benjamin Franklin: An American Life Benjamin Franklin is the Founding Father who winks at us An ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder from leather aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings he seems made of flesh rather than of marble In bestselling author Walter Isaacson s vivid and witty full scale biography we discover why Franklin seems to turn to us from history s stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new fangled spectacles By bringing Franklin to life Isaacson shows how he helped to define both his own time and ours p He was during his year life America s best scientist inventor diplomat writer and business strategist and he was also one of its most practical though not most profound political thinkers He proved by flying a kite that lightning was electricity and he invented a rod to tame it He sought practical ways to make stoves less smoky and commonwealths less corrupt He organized neighborhood constabularies and international alliances local lending libraries and national legislatures He combined two types of lenses to create bifocals and two concepts of representation to foster the nation s federal compromise He was the only man who shaped all the founding documents of America the Albany Plan of Union the Declaration of Independence the treaty of alliance with France the peace treaty with England and the Constitution And he helped invent America s unique style of homespun humor democratic values and philosophical pragmatism p p But the most interesting thing that Franklin invented and continually reinvented was himself America s first great publicist he was in his life and in his writings consciously trying to create a new American archetype In the process he carefully crafted his own persona portrayed it in public and polished it for posterity p p Through it all he trusted the hearts and minds of his fellow leather aprons more than he did those of any inbred elite He saw middle class values as a source of social strength not as something to be derided His guiding principle was a dislike of everything that tended to debase the spirit of the common people Few of his fellow founders felt this comfort with democracy so fully and none so intuitively p p In this colorful and intimate narrative Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklin s amazing life from his days as a runaway printer to his triumphs as a statesman scientist and Founding Father He chronicles Franklin s tumultuous relationship with his illegitimate son and grandson his practical marriage and his flirtations with the ladies of Paris He also shows how Franklin helped to create the American character and why he has a particular resonance in the twenty first century p

Biography, History, Non fiction, American history