Synopses & Reviews
Described by Carl Van Doren as "a harmonious human multitude," Benjamin Franklin was the most famous American of his time, of perhaps any time. His life and careers were so various and successful that he remains, even today, the epitome of the self-made man. Born into a humble tradesman's family, this adaptable genius rose to become an architect of the world's first democracy, a leading light in Enlightenment science, and a major creator of what has come to be known as the American character. Journalist, musician, politician, scientist, humorist, inventor, civic leader, printer, writer, publisher, businessman, founding father, philosopher, Ben Franklin is a touchstone for America's egalitarianism. The Penn Franklin biography is a magisterial project by the dean of Franklin scholars to bring together the major sources in Franklin's life. Representing a lifetime of research, the seven-volume work will give enthusiasts, scholars, and teachers an important resource for understanding Franklin's character and place in American history. The first volume covers Franklin's life to his marriage in 1730. It traces the New England religious, political, and cultural contexts of young Franklin, exploring previously unknown influences on Franklin's philosophy and writing, and attributing new writings to him. After his move to Philadelphia, made famous in his Autobiography, Franklin became the Water American in London in 1725, where he was welcomed into that city's circle of freethinkers. Upon his return to the colonies, the sociable Franklin created a group of young friends, the Junto, devoted to self-improvement and philanthropy. He also started his own press and began to edit and publish thePennsylvania Gazette, which became the most popular American paper of its day, and the first to consistently feature American news.
Representing a lifetime of research by the dean of Franklin scholars, this seven-volume biography will give enthusiasts and scholars an important resource for understanding Benjamin Franklin's character and place in American history. This first volume chronicles the early years of Franklin, from his birth to his marriage in 1730.