- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 33 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
- Audible.com Release Date: May 20, 2004
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0002AYYW8
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Dr. Wood's intention with this book is not so much to dispel this vision - Franklin was indeed those things - as to augment it by filling in those lesser known bits of Franklin's life. While he was the self-made business man and champion of industry, he was also a man who, from there, forayed into the life of a gentleman of leisure and loved every minute of it. While he was a passionate American revolutionary, he was, before all that, a man who passionately believed in the British Empire and worked tirelessly to reconcile American and British inerests. While he was a man who was eventually loved by posterity as a true and exemplary American, he was, during his lifetime, just as often mistrusted and even scorned by fellow Americans.
Dr. Wood, then, has written not so much a biography as a character study that works to explain (a) how Benjamin Franklin morphed into all of these multifarious roles, (b) how, remarkably, he was successful at all of them (well, all but one; you'll see!), and (c) how it wasn't untill after his death that Franklin's early life as a business-person was focused on almost to exclusion of all else, in essence, transforming his image to that of the quintessential American.
Dr.Read more ›
The grand irony is that before he personified being "American" to all of Western civilization, Franklin was the most British of the colonists; Wood argues that Franklin's emotional commitment to the vision of a pan-British world was rivaled only by that of William Pitt the Elder. That is important for understanding how a man who would sign his name to the Declaration of Independence was, two decades earlier, beseeching the King of England to make Pennsylvania a Crown colony. It was not just because of antipathy for the Penn family, but because Franklin believed whole-heartedly in the beneficence of the British monarchy. However, when it became clear that he was not going to be considered truly British--and if Dr. Franklin could not be accorded that right then clearly no Colonial ever would--that Franklin embraced the idea of being something else. In that regard he was similar to George Washington, whose chief ambition was to be a serving British officer and who was treated with even greater disdain by those he aspired to be like.
Wood makes his case by tracing Franklin's evolution through five key stages.Read more ›
When BF was in his young to middle-aged working life, he created, among other things, Poor Richard's Almanac. This was first published in 1733 - full of common sense, admonitions to industry and frugality, and homespun proverbs. His last edition was in 1758, reprinted separately as "The Way To Wealth," and attributed to a "Father Abraham."
Later, when BF was in a rare depression following a political failure in England, a friend convinced him he owed it to the public to write an autobiography. He began the first installment as advice to his son, William, and wrote additional entries over a number of years.
BF loved Europe, and they loved him. His work in electricity in his early 40's earned him an international reputation, complete with multiple honorary degrees. Perhaps because he spent so much time abroad, perhaps because his political enemies set the tone, he was not as appreciated in his home country. Interestingly, he made it back for the writing of the both the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution 11 years later.
After BF died, he was virtually ignored in America, while France proclaimed 3 days of mourning and made him a national hero. This contrast is more than striking. There were many signers to the Declaration of Independence, yet only a few of them stand out in America as household names. The rest of them have varied lesser legacies, with perhaps only short encyclopedia entries.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was incite into the development of Franklin's charter that I found fascinating.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Wood presents the social and political scene of the colonies. For the first time in modern European-born people, they were discovering a life without the confines of a monarchy. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kinderhook Annie
I found the book interesting but did not agree with some to the assertions. perhaps I am missing something. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Daymon W. Nicholas
I certainly am no scholar when it comes to American history. Indeed, this is one of the reasons I chose to read this book, to educate myself. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jeffroar
This book contains material that most readers don't know about Ben Franklin. I was surprised what I read and still remember some of the shocking discoveries. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Cory M Tsuhako