Benjamin Franklin by Edmund S. Morgan

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Benjamin Franklin is perhaps the most remarkable figure in American history: the greatest statesman of his age, he played a pivotal role in the formation of the American republic. He was also a pioneering scientist, a best-selling author, the country's first postmaster general, a printer, a bon vivant, a diplomat, a ladies' man, and a moralist - and the most prominent celebrity of the 18th century. Franklin was, however, a man of vast contradictions, as Edmund Morgan demonstrates in this biography. A reluctant revolutionary, Franklin had 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, Franklin viewed his groundbreaking experiments as secondary to his civic duties. And although he 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. Seeking to unravel the enigma of Franklin's character, Morgan shows that he was the rare individual who consistently placed the public interest before his own desires.

About Edmund S. Morgan

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Edmund S. Morgan is the Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale University and the recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the Pulitzer Prize, and the American Academy's Gold Medal. The author of The Genuine Article; American Slavery, American Freedom; Benjamin Franklin; and American Heroes, among many others, Morgan lives with his wife in New Haven.
Published August 11, 2002 by Yale University Press. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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Having founded most of the cultural institutions in Philadelphia at the time, usually by coordinating groups of friends to support his proposals rather than working personally on any one project, he easily fluttered in and out of the English and French courts, discussing everything from the new d...

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Publishers Weekly

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This wonderful biography of an extraordinary man results from a perfect marriage of subject and scholar. Among the most senior of our senior historians, Yale professor emeritus Morgan (<EMPHASIS TY

Jul 01 2002 | Read Full Review of Benjamin Franklin

Publishers Weekly

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Following closely on the heels of Edmund Morgan's justly acclaimed Benjamin Franklin, Isaacson's longer biography easily holds its own.

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Deseret News

Adams thought Franklin lazy and ineffective, but Franklin made this temperate characterization of Adams: "He means well for his country, is always an honest man, often a wise one, but sometimes and in some things, absolutely out of his senses."

Dec 08 2002 | Read Full Review of Benjamin Franklin

London Review of Books

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