Benjamin Franklin: An American Life PDF Í An American

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life PDF Í An American 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 oursHe was, during hisyear 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 pragmatismBut 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 posterityThrough it all, he trusted the hearts and minds of his fellow leather aprons 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 intuitivelyIn 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


10 thoughts on “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

  1. Dylan Dylan says:

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Franklin As the author points out,


  2. Matt Matt says:

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson s biography of Benjamin Franklin The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Franklin undertook in his life This most ecle


  3. Jason Koivu Jason Koivu says:

    An excellent start to finish biography, Benjamin Franklin An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with After that, Isaacson takes the reader through adetailed account of Franklin s early entrepreneurial life, through his many inventions, and into his later state


  4. Chrissie Chrissie says:

    ETA I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author s Einstein even , and I gave that four Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out Wikipedia I wantedI wanted to understand his soul I wanted to get under his skin I wanted all


  5. T-bone T-bone says:

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face I stopped reading before I hurt myself further This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, For the last 17 years of Deborah s life, Franklin would be away, including when she died Nevertheless, their mutual affection, respect, an


  6. Lisa (Harmonybites) Lisa (Harmonybites) says:

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back More than that, it s the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles I d mark this up to five stars if I could credit Isaacson for that but the source of the humor is the fr


  7. Laura Laura says:

    I loved this book Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life Nor did I understand just how involved he was before there was any US at all We could sti


  8. Suzanne Suzanne says:

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well researched, well written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson It is lengthy over 600 pages and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work The first third of the book moved quickly childhood, moving to Philadelphia, beginning life as a printer, Poor Richard s Almanac The middle third bogs down li


  9. Dan Dan says:

    An excellent biography of America s greatest statesman As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin s ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for I would say that the second half of this book, Franklin as the elder statesman, was as perfect a biography as I have read.


  10. Jerome Jerome says:

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception.So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book Money, perhaps Whatever his motivation, the result is underwhelming.One of the difficulties with biography is that you already know most of the plot, and you prob


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