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Benjamin Franklin (Yale Nota Bene S) Paperback – September 24, 2003
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In slightly more than 300 elegantly written pages, Yale historian Morgan transformed this skeleton into a living, breathing man. Although Morgan based this brief history on a wealth of source documents, he tells Franklin's story effortlessly. I felt as though I had taken a long walk with a very interesting companion, and come away with a whole new understanding of a great and complex figure.
Morgan devotes most of the book to detailing Franklin's central role in the long series of calculations and miscalculations that pushed thirteen loyal and tractable British colonies into revolution and forged them into the United States of America. Franklin, we learn, was there at every step, usually behind the scenes, but always extremely influential, a potent catalyst to change.
It's as fascinating to follow the evolution of Franklin's own thoughts and feelings about the British Empire and the future of America as it is to get to catch a replay of the fateful steps in Britain and the colonies that led to the American revolution. I wish that America were blessed with more statesmen like Franklin; we could certainly use someone like him right now.
Just one caveat--Franklin's scientific accomplishments are mentioned, but really as a side issue.Read more ›
As Mr. Morgan has been fond of saying, "History can be boring." Consequently, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN not only educates, but I found it entertaining as well, a claim many biographies would loved to be tagged with. Mr. Morgan extolls Franklin's intellectual gifts as well as his place in history. Thus, the reader learns a bit more about the man, Ben Franklin, than just his deeds.
Franklin was born in 1706 in Boston although he soon made his way to Philadelphia, where he began his assent into historic laurel. Franklin's public career was nothing less than extraordinary.Read more ›
Morgan says that Franklin is hard to know, in part, because "it is so hard to distinguish his natural impulses from his principles." For a focus on his main endeavors, however, especially his political ones, this biography does very well. Those who think all the founding fathers were firebrands insisting on independence at the first unfair tax will learn that Franklin was England's passionate friend.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been reading Edmund S. Morgan's works since I studied at Carleton College in the 60's and shortly after as a PhD candidate at Washington University in St Louis. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Peter A. Butzin
If you are looking to learn who this historical public figure really was this is the read.Published 18 months ago by debra hladky
This biography of Benjamin Franklin is a brief but effective introduction to the Man on the One Hundred Dollar Bill. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Erik Peterson
I and others in my book club found this book quite hard to read. Many said that they would read a chapter or so, and then set it down for quite a while, only to come back to it... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Cynthia
This book wasn't bad. There is a lot of great information about Franklin and interesting stories that included other founding fathers.Published on November 27, 2013 by Billie Jean Zipperer