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Publisher's Summary

We all have certain images of Ben Franklin: the witty Founding Father who promoted independence; the Philadelphia printer who created Poor Richard's Almanack; the scientist who conducted experiments with kites in electrical storms; the author of what is arguably America's best-known autobiography. These images reveal an intellectually curious and successful man of the 18th century, but they don't fully capture the full spirit of one of the most extraordinary Americans - perhaps the quintessential American. 

Why is Benjamin Franklin so compelling? What made him so successful in his day? And why has he continued to influence generations of Americans? Tackle these questions and more in The Age of Benjamin Franklin, a thorough - and sometimes surprising - course that presents a full portrait of a personality that defies easy definition. Taught by Professor Robert J. Allison of Suffolk University, these 24 insightful lectures explore the many facets of Franklin's life and times. From his humble beginnings as the son of a Boston soap maker to a world-renowned diplomat, you'll explore the many sides of this complex man, who somehow found time to: 

  • Build a national printing business 
  • Open America's first library 
  • Pioneer the development of the post office 
  • Publish a number of satires 
  • Invent the Franklin stove 
  • Help create and codify the science of electricity 
  • Write a string quartet 
  • Write one of the first texts about chess published in the US 
  • Take up swimming 
  • Write his memoirs 

Amid all that, Franklin traveled the world, helped draft the Declaration of Independence, negotiated for support during the war and peace after, served in Congress, and helped establish American government. He was a busy, busy man: ambitious, worldly, imaginative, and forward thinking, representing the best output from the Age of Enlightenment.  

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 The Teaching Company, LLC; 2018 The Great Courses (P)2018 The Great Courses

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, well delivered

I loved the way this book was delivered. Not only was it interesting, but it was really an enjoyable listen! Lived it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable for me.

I have always been fascinated by Franklin and wanted to learn more. Being more conservative minded I was nervous about what kind of spin I would get. I found this to be strictly on the topic and, at least for me, a very enjoyable listen. It is like sitting in a classroom, but I didn’t mind at all. Very good job, definitely worth a listen!

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    3 out of 5 stars

It's a lecture

I suppose it would be different if you were in a classroom setting, but the narration has adds no life to a man who had a tremendous amount of it. Had to return it 1 chapter in.

3 of 30 people found this review helpful