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 persona, 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, Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklin's amazing life, from his days as a runaway printer to his triumphs as a statesman, 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 shows how Franklin helped to create the American character and why he has a particular resonance in the twenty-first century.
©2003 Walter Isaacson; (P)2003 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
"Benjamin Franklin catalogs the extraordinary range of its subject's accomplishments, which remain unrivaled in their variety and utility." (The New York Times)
"Isaacson has crafted a wonderfully written biography, and his treatment of Franklin's youth and rise to prominence is insightful and imaginative" (The Washington Post)
"The abridgment is seamless, the text runs the gamut...from brilliant to ordinary."(AudioFile)
"Blessed with one of the most polished and easy-to-absorb voices in the audio business, reader Boyd Gaines does an outstanding job with Walter Isaacson's excellent biography of perhaps the most appealing of the Founding Fathers..." (USA Today)
I confess I havent read any of the other reviews before I wrote this one. I just wanted to leave my first review here as a new audible member and tell you this is fantastic. I am only a quarter of the way through his audible book and loved the details. I cannot believe that Franklin is even more interesting than I first believed/knew and had a hand in so many things historical (or otherwise). The section about his family life, early publishing, bits of humor, and ambassador type status to France are all great fun. (A good example: Pay attention to the part where he and John Adams, due to inadequate accommodations, had to share a bed together and how Franklin avoided catching Adams' cold)
I recommend this book heartily. I am a new American History fan and I think this and 1776 (by a different author) are just superb. Get them both.
This is a wonderful lesson in history. The definition of Unabridged is; COMPLETE, being the most complete of its class. The definition of abridged is; to shorten in duration or extent.
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