Synopses & Reviews
Chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review and as a best book for 2002 by the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, and Publishers Weekly. A finalist for the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award in biography. The greatest statesman of his age, Benjamin Franklin was also a pioneering scientist, a successful author, the first American postmaster general, a printer, a bon vivant. In addition, he was a man of vast contradictions. This bestselling biography by one of our greatest historians offers a compact and provocative new portrait of America's most extraordinary patriot.
The best short biography of Franklin ever written. Gordon S. Wood
Benjamin Franklin is perhaps the most remarkable figure in American history: the greatest statesman of his age, he played a pivotal role in the formation of the American republic. He was also a pioneering scientist, a bestselling author, the country s first postmaster general, a printer, a bon vivant, a diplomat, a ladies man, and a moralistand the most prominent celebrity of the eighteenth century.
Franklin was, however, a man of vast contradictions, as Edmund Morgan demonstrates in this brilliant biography. A reluctant revolutionary, Franklin had desperately wished to preserve the British Empire, and he mourned the break even as he led the fight for American independence. Despite his passion for science, Franklin viewed his groundbreaking experiments as secondary to his civic duties. And although he helped to draft both the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution, he had personally hoped that the new American government would take a different shape. Unraveling the enigma of Franklin s character, Morgan shows that he was the rare individual who consistently placed the public interest before his own desires.
Written by one of our greatest historians, Benjamin Franklin offers a provocative portrait of America s most extraordinary patriot."