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Publisher's Summary

From his beginnings as a journalist at age 16, to his retirement from public affairs at 82, there was no break in Benjamin Franklin's activity and accomplishments. A writer, inventor, and statesman, he remains unsurpassed in the range of his natural gifts and the important uses to which he put them.

In this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Carl Van Doren incorporates materials from Franklin's letters, manuscripts, journals, and published works to give the most accurate and comprehensive portrait ever written of this great American.

©1966 Anne Van Doren Ross, Margaret Van Doren Bevans, and Barbara Van Doren Klaw (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A review of Mr. Van Doren's Benjamin Franklin can be nothing short of a eulogy. The greatest American has found a biographer worthy of him." ( The Nation)"Patrick Cullen's narration [is] suitably smart, spirited, and gentle....There is inspiration here at every turn, and one is left feeling the tragedy of America is that Franklin didn't live to be 300 - at least. Highly recommended for all collections." ( Library Journal)"The most comprehensive and the most intelligently sympathetic biography of Franklin we have." ( New York Times)

What members say

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  • Overall

A Daunting Listen, But....

A daunting listen, but ... I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I warn you dear listener, if you ever wanted to know about the life and times THE most important American ( and dare I say European? ) before, during, and after the Revolutionary War, this is the book you should start your journey to understanding with.
But, the wealth of information is almost overwhelming ( at times, a bit tedious ), and at 35 hours, it's quite a challenge to fit into a working mans' schedule.
Despite that ( minor ) negative point, I found Patrick Cullen's narration pleasant and engaging.
Overall - if a true, comprehensive insight into the lives of the one, indisputably, most important men of the era, titled a "Founding Father", is what you seek, then THIS is the book ( and the man ) you should start with.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Randy
  • Weaverville, NC, USA
  • 05-25-09

Bone Dry & mechanically narrated

Very disappointed in this Pulitzer prize winner; Benjamin Franklin is such a great figure in American history, however after two hours of listening, I find the author more interested in demonstrating his own intelligence rather than that of Franklin. This perception isn't helped by the very dry delivery of the narrator. There's no inflection and a lack of emphasis that would aid in keeping the listener engaged. The voice is mechanical, like the computer generated voices for NOAH weather radio giving the same intonation for "severe tornado warning" as "partly sunny". A poor analogy maybe, but the great kite-flyer in the thunderstorm would appreciate it. I didn't even download the last two files of the book.

6 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Christine
  • Moncks Corner, SC, United States
  • 05-04-10

Interesting man

I learned quite a lot from this book. This man should be studied in schools for his brillance and knowledge and all he contributed to this countries history. A lot to take in but worth the listening.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great story of a fascinating man for all ages.

This book made my commute and walks enjoyable when they could have been mundane. Word.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful