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American history

Benjamin Franklin

Edmund S. Morgan.
Publisher Yale  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 1.2 inches
ISBN 9780300095326
Pages/Publication Date 339/2002
Daedalus Item Code 22089
This item is not available.
(Finalist for the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award; a New York Times Notable Book; and named a Best Book of 2002 by Los Angeles Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, and Publishers Weekly) The winner of the Bancroft Prize, the National Humanities Medal, and a Special Citation from the Pulitzer board for his "creative and deeply influential body of work as an American historian," Edmund Morgan earned wide acclaim in 2002 for this superb short biography of Ben Franklin. Arguably the most remarkable figure in American history, Franklin was the greatest statesman of his age and played a pivotal role in the formation of the American republic. A pioneering scientist, a bestselling author, the country's first postmaster general, a printer, a bon vivant, a diplomat, a ladies' man, and a moralist, he was also a man of vast contradictions, as Morgan explains. Franklin was a reluctant revolutionary who desperately wished to preserve the British Empire, and he mourned the break even as he led the fight for American independence. Despite his passion for science, he viewed his groundbreaking experiments as secondary to his civic duties. And although Franklin helped to draft both the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution, he had personally hoped that the new American government would take a different shape. Unraveling the enigma of Franklin's character, Morgan shows that he was the rare individual who consistently placed the public interest before his own desires.

"Morgan, one of the greatest living authorities on colonial America, has written a concise, excellent, and eminently readable biography ... a book very much like its hero: so fluent, so engaging, and so self-effacing that one only gradually realizes its true breadth and scope.... In conveying to modern readers the natural geniality of Franklin's character, Morgan succeeds also in casting new light on the social atmosphere and political ideas of the emerging American nation."Foreign Affairs

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