Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

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Simon and Schuster, May 4, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 586 pages
In this authoritative and engrossing full-scale biography, Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Einstein and Steve Jobs, shows how the most fascinating of America's founders helped define our national character.

Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us, the one who seems made of flesh rather than marble. In a sweeping narrative that follows Franklin’s life from Boston to Philadelphia to London and Paris and back, Walter Isaacson chronicles the adventures of the runaway apprentice who became, over the course of his eighty-four-year life, America’s best writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, and business strategist, as well as one of its most practical and ingenious political leaders. He explores the wit behind Poor Richard’s Almanac and the wisdom behind the Declaration of Independence, the new nation’s alliance with France, the treaty that ended the Revolution, and the compromises that created a near-perfect Constitution.

In this colorful and intimate narrative, Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklin’s amazing life, showing how he helped to forge the American national identity and why he has a particular resonance in the twenty-first century.

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User Review  - gregdehler - LibraryThing

The reader really gets to know Benjamin Franklin in this book biography. It is a little weaker on context and explaining the events of Franklin's time. Isaacson portrays Franklin as the prototype ... Read full review

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User Review  - msf59 - LibraryThing

Franklin has always fascinated me and has always been my favorite Founding Father, just ahead of Jefferson, so I am glad I finally pulled this bio off the shelf and dug in. It is quite mind-blowing ... Read full review

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Contents

CHAPTER
1
CHAPTER THREE
36
CHAPTER FOUR
52
CHAPTER FIVE
102
CHAPTER
129
CHAPTER SEVEN
146
CHAPTER EIGHT
175
Philadelphia 17631764
206
CHAPTER TWELVE
290
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
325
CHAPTER FOURTEEN
350
CHAPTER FIFTEEN
382
CHAPTER SIXTEEN
436
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
471
Cast of Characters
495
Chronology
503

CHAPTER
219
CHAPTER ELEVEN
252
Sources and Abbreviations
510
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Walter Isaacson, a professor of history at Tulane, has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time. He is the author of Leonardo da Vinci; The Innovators; Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. Visit him at Isaacson.Tulane.edu

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