On January 29, 1774, Benjamin Franklin was called to appear before the PrivyCouncil--a select group of the King's advisors--in an octagonal-shaped room inWhitehall Palace known as the Cockpit. Spurred by jeers and applause from theaudience in the Cockpit, Solicitor General Alexander Wedderburn unleashed awithering tirade against Franklin. Though Franklin entered the room as a dutifulservant of the British crown, he left as a budding American Revolutionary. In TheMaking of a Patriot, renowned Franklin historian Sheila Skemp presents a insightful,lively narrative that goes beyond the traditional Franklin biography--and behind thecommon myths--to demonstrate how Franklin's ultimate decision to support thecolonists was by no means a foregone conclusion. In fact, up until the Cockpitordeal, he was steadfastly committed to achieving "an accommodation of ourdifferences." The Making of a Patriot also sheds light on the conspiratorialframework within which actors on both sides of the Atlantic moved toward revolutionand it highlights how this event ultimately pitted Franklin against his son,suggesting that the Revolution was, in no small part, also a civil war.
About Sheila L. Skemp
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Published March 7, 2012
by Oxford University Press, USA.
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War.