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Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by…

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Walter Isaacson

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3,714572,076 (3.99)80
Title:Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Authors:Walter Isaacson
Info:Simon & Schuster (2004), Paperback, 608 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Biography, History

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Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson (2003)

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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
A great book! I deserve a dreaded blue flag (or something) for trying to review an audio abridgement, but I definitively enjoyed this account of an amazing genius with some typical human weaknesses. The political conflicts within his immediate family (son, grandson) were expected and well, shocking to read, nonetheless. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote Sandydog1 | Oct 19, 2018 |
Growing up in the Philadelphia area as I did, Benjamin Franklin has always been a figure of interest to me and something of a personal hero. This also means that I've read a great deal about him over the years. -- This gracefully-written book contained a number of things about BF that I did *not* know previously. Together with David McCullough's 'John Adams,' one of the greatest biographies I've ever read. (I'd give it six stars -- or more -- if GoodReads would permit!) ( )
  David_of_PA | Jul 14, 2018 |
Well done but author felt need to constantly remind reader that yes, BF was talented, but not a poet and not a philosopher like Hume, not a scientist like Newton. He mentioned this repeatedly. Annoying. Otherwise fascinating insight. Last half of book was lengthy. ( )
  Jeremy_Palmer | Jul 10, 2018 |
This is an excellent biography of Franklin. Isaacson didn't gloss over the dysfunctionality of Franklin's family, though he didn't apply the same hard look at William Penn's family (Penn's family and the citizens of the Pennsylvania were at odds over taxes). But then it would have been more than a simple biography. It is well worth the read!! ( )
  kaulsu | Jun 24, 2018 |
Sans la liberté de pensée, il ne peut y avoir de sagesse, et aucune liberté publique sans la liberté de Paraole
  ACParakou | May 31, 2018 |
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Runger, NelsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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His arrival in Philadelphia is one of the most famous scenes in autobiographical literature: The bedraggled 17-year-old runaway, cheeky yet with a pretense of humility, straggling off the boat and buying three puffy rolls as he wanders up Market Street.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 074325807X, Paperback)

Benjamin Franklin, writes journalist and biographer Walter Isaacson, was that rare Founding Father who would sooner wink at a passer-by than sit still for a formal portrait. What's more, Isaacson relates in this fluent and entertaining biography, the revolutionary leader represents a political tradition that has been all but forgotten today, one that prizes pragmatism over moralism, religious tolerance over fundamentalist rigidity, and social mobility over class privilege. That broadly democratic sensibility allowed Franklin his contradictions, as Isaacson shows. Though a man of lofty principles, Franklin wasn't shy of using sex to sell the newspapers he edited and published; though far from frivolous, he liked his toys and his mortal pleasures; and though he sometimes gave off a simpleton image, he was a shrewd and even crafty politician. Isaacson doesn't shy from enumerating Franklin’s occasional peccadilloes and shortcomings, in keeping with the iconoclastic nature of our time--none of which, however, stops him from considering Benjamin Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age," and one of the most admirable of any era. And here’s one bit of proof: as a young man, Ben Franklin regularly went without food in order to buy books. His example, as always, is a good one--and this is just the book to buy with the proceeds from the grocery budget. --Gregory McNamee

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:52 -0400)

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Chronicles the founding father's life and his multiple careers as a shopkeeper, writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, business strategist, and political leader, while showing how his faith in the wisdom of the common citizen helped forge an American national identity based on the virtues of its middle class.… (more)

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