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. In Benjamin Frankling, the author shows how Franklin defines both his own time and ours. The most interesting thing that Franklin invented, and continually reinvented was himself. America's first great publicist, he was consciously trying to create a new American archetype. In the process, he carefully crafted his own personal, portrayed it in public, and polished it for posterity. 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 intuitively. In this colorful and intimate narrative, the author provides the full sweep of Franklin's amazing life, from his days as a runaway printer to his triumphs as a stateman, 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 show how Franklin helped to create the American character and why he has a particular resonance in the twenty-first century. Abridged. Read by Boyd Gaines. 6 CDs. 7 hours.
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.
Walter Isaacson, University Professor of History at Tulane, has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chairman of CNN, and editor of Time magazine. 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. Facebook: Walter Isaacson, Twitter: @WalterIsaacson