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Who Was Ben Franklin? (Who Was...?)by Dennis Brind Fradin
Synopses & Reviews
Sure, almost all kids know Benjamin Franklin as one of America’s Founding Fathers, a man with a hand in both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. And they may even have some vague idea that he once flew a kite during a lightning storm. What Kathleen Krull sets out to do in this very different biography is show Ben Franklin the “natural philosopher” (the term for scientists back in the 1700s), whose experiments led to important discoveries about the nature of electricity—including his famous demonstration that electricity and lightning were one and the same.
As always, this much-lauded series presents a true Giant of Science in a juicily anecdotal way. This is social history at its best. . . . who knew that Franklin became such a megastar that Paris shops sold Ben dolls, Ben ashtrays, even Ben wallpaper?
Witty and engaging, this is a worthy addition to the Giants of Science series.
No matter how busy he was, Ben Franklin always found time to try out new ideas and he was also a man of many talents. He was also an ambassador to England, a printer, an almanac maker, a politician, and even a vegetarian (for a time).
There are countless books about that famous colonial multitasker. But Kathleen Krull sheds new light on the Benjamin Franklin who considered science his true calling in life, not nation building. Witty and engaging, her biography follows Franklin’s studies on the nature of air and heat and the process by which he proved
electricity and lightning were one and the same. Readers come away with a perceptive, fair-minded portrait of a man who became such a celebrity during his years in Paris that souvenir stores sold Franklin ashtrays, dolls, and even wallpaper. This is a worthy addition to the Giants of Science series.
About the Author
Kathleen Krull, the noted social historian, lives in San Diego, California.
Boris Kulikov, the illustrator of this series, lives in New York City.
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