The Printer and the Preacher: Ben Franklin, George Whitefield, and the Surprising Friendship that Invented America  -     By: Randy Petersen
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The Printer and the Preacher: Ben Franklin, George Whitefield, and the Surprising Friendship that Invented America

Thomas Nelson / 2015 / Hardcover

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Product Description

A groundbreaking look at the uncommon friendship between George Whitefield and Benjamin Franklin . . . who together defined what it means to be an American! Learn how the popular outdoor preacher and evangelist built America's spiritual foundation while hard-working, inventive, funny, and practical Franklin laid its social groundwork---and how both influenced our nation forever. 320 pages, hardcover from Nelson.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0718022211
ISBN-13: 9780718022211

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Publisher's Description

They were the most famous men in America.  They came from separate countries, followed different philosophies, and led dissimilar lives. But they were fast friends. No two people did more to shape America in the mid-1700s.

Benjamin Franklin was the American prototype: hard-working, inventive, practical, funny, with humble manners and lofty dreams. George Whitefield was the most popular preacher in an era of great piety, whose outdoor preaching across the colonies was heard by thousands, all of whom were told, "You must be born again." People became excited about God. They began reading the Bible and supporting charities. When Whitefield died in 1770, on a preaching tour in New Hampshire, he had built a spiritual foundation for a new nation—just as his surviving friend, Ben Franklin, had built its social foundation. Together these two men helped establish a new nation founded on liberty. This is the story of their amazing friendship.

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  1. Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Christian Biography & Colonial American History Informative Entertaining
    October 18, 2015
    VicsMediaRoom
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Randy Petersen in his new book The Printer and the Preacher published by Thomas Nelson gives us Ben Franklin, George Whitefield, and the Surprising Friendship that Invented America.

    From the back cover: Social mobility. Religious freedom. Hard work over class. We take these values for granted, but colonial America had to learn them. How? Under the care and nurture of two remarkable men: a printer and a preacher.

    Preaching in public spaces across the colonies, George Whitfield inspired the first Great Awakening. Simultaneously, Benjamin Franklin was printing his own brand of common sense in Poor Richards Almanac. But the two were not just working in parallel; their stories were intertwined in a thirty-year friendship that spread their influence around the globe.

    This is the story of that friendship. Of how Franklin first printed Whitfields sermons, how Whitfield defended his friends diplomacy, and how their mutual regard allowed each to flourish and shape an ever-growing population.

    The Printer and the Preacher provides a model for our time: a friendship across differing outlooks with room for disagreement and mutual respect. And in the course of that friendship, a nation that was yet to be born was given its defining traits.

    I know a little about Colonial America. I know a little about George Whitefield. I know a little about Ben Franklin. When I found out that I could learn more about all three and how they worked together I jumped at the opportunity. Mr. Petersen has given us a well written, informative biography that brings the two men and America, at that time, to life. I started out knowing a little, I finished knowing quite a lot more. I felt that I had been transported back in time and I was walking the streets of the Colonies with these men. If you are looking for an excellent merging of Christian biography and Colonial American history then you have to read this book. I recommend this book highly.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  2. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    An interesting book with an exaggerated premise ...
    September 2, 2015
    Scotty
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    I fell in love with learning in the third grade by studying the history of the American southwest. Ever since then, I have always enjoyed studying and reading about most history subjects, and that includes Randy Petersens new book, The Printer and the Preacher (published by Nelson Books).

    Let me clarify something though: I enjoyed Petersens book because I enjoy history, but the premise of the book I found to be somewhat exaggerated.

    The book contains history because it explores the lives and friendship of Benjamin Franklin (the printer) and George Whitefield (the preacher). Its the sub-title of the book that contains the exaggerated premise Ben Franklin, George Whitefield, and the surprising friendship that invented America.

    A friendship that invented America?

    First, Petersen does spend the entire book weaving us through the lives of these men and documenting that they did, indeed, have some level of friendship that extended beyond their professional or business dealings with one another. But often in his descriptions of their friendship, Petersen uses words like maybe they, or it could have been, or possibly, words that reveal that based on letters between these two men, and other information, we know they had a friendship, but Petersen may through his guessing have exaggerated what the actual level of that friendship was.

    Was it a friendship that invented America? I think thats a grand exaggeration. History can show us that it would be hard to overstate the influence that Whitefield had on America as God used him during the Great Awakening, and Franklins publishing prowess fed Whitefields rise to fame. The sales of Whitefields books and other materials published by Franklin helped Ben prosper financially, which enabled him to do all he did for our nation.

    But was it this single friendship that invented America?

    I dont think so. It was, though, a friendship that led these two men to become two of the most influential forefathers of America and their lives and work had a direct and dramatic impact on that culture.

    As Petersen takes us from the birth of both men to the end of their lives, he writes in a light and easy story-telling manner that avoids making delving into history a wooden and otherwise strenuous labor. Because he is chronicling the lives of two men, Petersen presents their stories more as a survey of their lives than an in-depth biographical exploration of both men.

    If you enjoy history, youll likely enjoy The Printer and the Preacher, even if the premise of the book is exaggerated.

    I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  3. Kansas City
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Travel Back in Time
    August 27, 2015
    tickmenot
    Kansas City
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    A lot of well-researched history will be found between the covers of this book. The author presents much in-depth information about both Ben Franklin and George Whitefield, individually. This includes the time of their birth, along with what their parents were like, their family structure, and relationships with their siblings.

    There is a tremendous amount of background data about the society of the day, including people, events and religion. The events that took place in both England and America are included since the men spent various seasons of their lives in both places. All of the information the author has gathered is given in a very intriguing way. He suggests the men might have been a part of the many interesting happenings that he renders.

    However, this is supposed to be a book about the relationship between Ben Franklin and the pastor, George Whitefield. Although there is a small amount of the book devoted to that, for the most part, this volume gives a history of these two men's individual lives. Very little of the book is devoted to interactions between the two, let alone the friendship, that these men were supposed to have had.

    You will learn a lot about what life was like in the past.

    I enjoyed learning about both Ben Franklin and George Whitefield, as well as, what life was like then. Each man led a fascinating life. The odyssey both men made from humble beginnings to living well-known successful lives is amazing. George Whitefield's faith journey was very thought-provoking. I found the parts about Whitefield caught my interest the most. There are also some interesting time-lines in the back of the book. But I was really hoping to learn about the friendship the two shared, especially since that was part of the book's title. I also wanted to know more about how their friendship influenced America, which was also in the title. It was disappointing to find very little information about that.

    Although this is a well-written history, it doesn't cover the subject matter it stated. Because of that, this is a four-star book. If you want to learn a lot about a relationship between Ben Franklin and George Whitefield, I cannot recommend this book. However, as a compelling history of the time period both these men lived in, along with an account of these men's individual lives, I can certainly endorse it.

    The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of The Printer and the Preacher: Ben Franklin, George Whitefield, and the Surprising Friendship that Invented America through The Thomas Nelson Publishing BookLook Bloggers Program for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
  4. Gender: Male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    An Amazing Friendship
    August 21, 2015
    Evan
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Randy Peterson has written more than sixty books on various subjects. Apart from writing, Randy teaches public speaking at a community college, preaches occasionally at his church, and directs in local theaters. He lives in the Philadelphia area.

    The Printer and the Preacher is a well written book that covers an important relationship between two men who loved each other and their countries. George Whitefield and Ben Franklin were very important and influential in their day, and they still are helpful today. Through this work, we can gain insight to a relationship were two didnt agree on everything, but they did have respect for one another.

    When I read books, I ask the question of how can this work help the local pastor, student, and church member so that they can learn and influence their community.

    From this work, there are 3 takeaways that can help the church.

    The Printer and the Preacher will help you engage your lost friends. This work shows the relationship in which Whitefield continually shared the gospel with Franklin, while remaining his friend throughout his life. Their friendship spanned the ocean.

    Both of these men used words in an influential way. Franklin and Whitefield were crafty with their words and they knew of the influence they could have on people. They also came from places in which they needed to work hard to get respect. Franklin and Whitefield both worked hard, they thought hard, and they have had a lasting impact on America.

    Both Franklin and Whitefield thought highly of education and religious liberty. They understood the importance of the impact that education can make, while also noting that religious liberty/freedom was important as well. Franklin and Whitefield did not agree on Christianity. Whitefield preached grace alone through faith alone by the power of Christ alone. Franklin had a gumbo form of religion in which he pulled ideas from all places. Both understood the value of religious freedom and education in America.

    The Printer and the Preacher also has a timeline of their friendship, Whitefields trips to America, and their personal encounters in the appendix.

    May we read about their friendship and may it impact our lives. Friends, we only get one life and it will soon pass, only what is done for Jesus Christ will last!
  5. West Union, OH
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Enjoyable Reading With A Few Caveats
    July 24, 2015
    Jimmy Reagan
    West Union, OH
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Here is the merging of two categories of reading that, if you are like me, you enjoyChristian biography and Colonial America. You get in this volume two prominent characters in those categoriesGeorge Whitefield and Ben Franklin. It is a pleasing, somewhat stretched, and breezy read.

    His premise that the friendship of these two men invented America failed, but the book did not. These two men made distinct contributions to what became America, and they even had some sort of friendship, but the friendship itself had nothing to with anything in forging of our nation. In fact, the friendship was much ado about nothing as he failed to uncover just how deep the friendship was. I suspect it was not that deep and we will never know for sure beyond that.

    Why I will still recommend the book is that these two men with their different lives did have such an impact. The similarities and differences in the two men are fascinating and how people took to them is something Petersen did capture. He succeeded in bringing Franklin alive more than he did Whitefield in my opinion. Part of the reason, I imagine, is that he too followed the oft-discredited study of Harry Stout.

    Still, with the above caveats in mind, it remains enjoyable reading.

    I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
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