Many consider Franklin the most fascinating American man who ever lived. A scientist, businessman, diplomat, author, inventor, philosopher and politician, he is America's original Renaissance man. His remarkable and varied accomplishments include the discovery of electricity and the modernization of the postal system. Brilliant and bawdy, a master statesman and a cultural icon, Franklin was so important and popular in his day that, according to the author, "... only Washington mattered as much."
Drawing from a wealth of sources, including previously unpublished letters to and from Franklin, Brands creates an unforgettable tribute to a man for the ages.
Nelson Runger's narration highlights the incredible events and fascinating personality traits that made Franklin a legend.
©2000 H.W. Brands; (P)2001 Recorded Books, LLC.
"Like its subject, this biography is both solid and enchanting." (The New Yorker)
I decided that I rectify the terrible situation which was my knowledge of American history, due to no small part that history lessons tend to put me into a deep sleep that many of my past teachers have come to rue. However I found this book both entertaining and informative. The author and narrator do an excellent job of taking material that could be bland and ZZZZ worthy and making it accesible to the average listener. To this I found myself sitting in the car 10 minutes after I was home to hear what Ben did next. Brands covers not only the big important events that Franklin was apart of but the smaller things things that made him the man he was and does so with out losing the interest of the listener. If you are interested in learning about one of the most important figures in American history I highly reccomend this book. If only my history teachers in highscool had spoken with the information of Brands and the passion and eloquence of Runger I would be more sleep deprived now but vastly more informed.
Old geezer who grew up on SF and loves audiobooks. Audible is so much easier than juggling cassettes or CDs.
Well performed and beautifully written. Anyone who doubts the historical importance of old fat guys should be hit over the head with this book. Seriously, this is an excellent way to get the story of one of the most remarkable characters of a remarkable generation. If Washington is the father of his country, Franklin is surely the grandfather.
This is a very entertaining biography of an agreeable and amazingly accomplished man. It is also a facinating history of his time. The narration of Nelson Runger is perfect.
A wonderful engaging depiction of life in the 18th century.
Thank you Brands, I know, feel, and understand so much more as a result of your work.
I'm now looking for a new historical listen, I'll be looking in the Brands folio first.
My preference for a good story is something totally unusual and not run of the mill stuff. Give me something I haven't heard before.
Looong on paperwork and letters. There were certain sections that chased interest with long, dull reading of his every letter that he wrote in between. I guess if you need to read a full history of the man then this is it. But if you'd like a brief history of Ben then this isn't what you're looking for.
The amazing history and accomplishments of Ben Franklin.
Easy to listen to.
Smitten with Ben Franklin
This is an excellent book and will teach anyone how much our country owes to Ben Franklin. Besides being a scientist, military strategist, statesmen, he was a great Patriot and was loyal "as a shepherd" to our cousins across the pond until the decided they could not be reasonable with our taxation. If you enjoy history and learning about early america this book will give you an entire history!
Enjoyed the history of Ben prior to his involvement with the American Revolution.
Audio quality left a bit to be desired.
In South Lake Tahoe now; moved here to volunteer in wildlife rehab. Bears, raccoons, squirrels, birds -- lovely! Also knitting, embroidery, spinning and audio books.
I very much enjoyed listening to this life story of Benjamin Franklin. I am not an historian, though I enjoy listening to history. So this is not a critique of the historical work of the author. I happen to love John Adams and realize he and Franklin didn't get along. Little by little I gain insights. But I still love them both with all their differences. And the other founding fathers as well.
The book has an awful lot of words for an awfully long and busy life. I was entertained all the way. It is well written and well read. I did hear some odd pronounciations, but only a few. No big deal. Franklin worked very hard as a young man. He managed to transcend limitations on his life that other people would have simply made lemonade with. He had fingers in so many pies; he initiated so many civic projects, if he were living in our time, his life would still have been a great achievement. I mean! This cute old man had the high society of Paris ROTFL! When did he learn up-to-the-minute courtly and colloquial French? Travel was hard back then, and he nontheless did the necessary travel until his last days. The book is inspiring, uplifting, informative, good value. I will listen again. And again.
Retired dentist after 37 yrs & with strong artistic interests left intensive reading until my latter years and am having a ball!
This is a history book which everyone can enjoy and find entertaining at the same time.
I fully expected an arduous journey,(even though I wanted to know all about the man and his life) and I can honestly say, that I was genuinely hooked by the whole experience, even though I integrated it from time to time, by listening to a thriller when my mind grew weary of unfamiliar historical events and facts.
I am about to listen to Part 5 of this "Tome" and am looking forward to it even as I write this review. For those who wish to have a blow by blow account of Benjamin Franklin's fascinating and gifted personality, brilliant mind and varied life, this book is a "must hear !"and to be enjoyed from the beginning to the end.
Of Course. Dr. Brands, a gentleman and a scholar, has both the capacity to display information well, but orderly and enlightening. History, especially regarding someone like Franklin, is well emassed with information, but few people can bring someone to life as does Brands.
I am in the process of listening so I have yet to hit upon an apex. My humor box is perforated regarding Franklin's portrayer of older and younger women looking alike below the waist. At this point I am somewhat amazed at Franklin's pre-revolutionary experience convincing the Brits they need not cast taxes upon the colonies. His connection to Malthus and Smith is now memorable as well. Franklin's intrellectual was well nigh pervasive and Dr. Brands present that phenomenon quite well.
Not that I know of.
The portions on electricity were shocking!
I like Audible, since you are able to produce the best. Keep it up.
"A fascinating biography of a truly great man"
What a wonderful book. I had not realised what a unique and brilliant character Benjamin Franklin was. The book sets him superbly well in his time and blends the personal story and his role in the great events of the age in a well balanced way. H W Brands' prose style may be a little old fashioned for some people, but he tells the story well, and despite the length of the book, it didn't drag.
I would have given the book five stars, but for the narration which didn't really do it for me - too homespun, I think. Someone like Grover Gardiner - who narrated the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich so well - would I think have brought the book more to life, and captured better Franklin's unique blend of common sense and humour.
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