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Drawing from a wealth of sources, including previously unpublished letters to and from Franklin, Brands creates an unforgettable tribute to a man for the ages.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.
Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!
Benjamin Franklin was frozen in time for me, forever wearing wearing breeches; white stockings; leather shoes; a vest with a gold fob; a dark coat; grey hair, tied back with a ribbon; and holding a kite during a storm. I'm sure it's an illustration I saw as a child. I knew he'd done many other things, but what I knew was like reading a resumé and taking an American History I test.
I was so pleased to read this book, and have the man and his times come alive. Franklin was a polymath and made so many important contributions. He invented the Franklin Stove, still in use today - and never patented it, which could have made him quite wealthy. He established the use of lightening roads, and undoubtedly saved many more lives than can ever been counted. Franklin was a highly regarded scientist and published in subjects such as electricity, ocean currents, and meteorology.
Franklin began his professional life as a loyal Brittish subject, but eventually changed. This book explains why - and that he was the target for assassination by the British Empire for a time.
It's hard to think of a "Founding Father" and demi-god as human, which explains the scandal more than 200 years later when Thomas Jefferson's second family was revealed. Franklin was no George Washington - he had his share of dalliances, and his first child was born to a woman he was not married to, and who has never been identified. Rather than hide his son, as so many current politicians try to do (Schwarzenegger, Edwards, etc.), he acknowledged William. Franklin and his common-law wife Deborah raised Williao on m. William eventually becamse the last British governor of New Jersey, leading to a rift between the men that never healed - in part because William helped the English against his father.
The book's discussion of Franklin's life in the French Court is fascinating. He played an essential part in establishing that important alliance.
I am embarassed to admit that until I'd read this book, I had been under the misapprehension that Franklin had never been elected to office, only appointed (Postmaster, Ambassador to France). I'd somehow equated that to him not being a good politician. That simply wasn't the case - he was elected President of Pennsylvania before American Independence, which was somewhat similar to a governorship. He ran a skillful campaign and engaged in political tactics that today's political consultants have no doubtedly studied.
The audio book is very long, and well worth the listen.
The audio editing on the book wasn't great, though - I was able to hear the narrator take breaths, which I found distracting. Without the editing problem, I would have rated the performance at a 4.
With respect to the text, from time to time, I found myself confused about how the author had arrived at a certain point. With a text book, I would have looked back a few pages to figure out what the subject was. If Audio Books had chapter names, that would have helped.
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.
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.
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.
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