Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

“The best short biography of Franklin ever written.”—Gordon S. Wood

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 bestselling 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 eighteenth century.

Franklin was, however, a man of vast contradictions, as Edmund Morgan demonstrates in this brilliant 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. 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.

Written by one of our greatest historians, Benjamin Franklin offers a provocative portrait of America’s most extraordinary patriot.

Title:Benjamin Franklin
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780300101621
Format Type:

    Benjamin Franklin Reviews

  • Bruce

    Neither a definitive biography of this Founding Father nor a deeply academic work, this short biography uses recently available personal papers to explore Franklin’s complex personality, the contrad...

  • Ron

    Three stars was a gift. It wasn't that Morgan got his facts wrong, how could he? Everyone knows Franklin was an earnest achiever behind his aw-shucks Poor Richard facade, John Adams was a pompous ass,...

  • Kristen

    I was terribly disappointed by what I was able to slog through of this book. I was also surprised to be so disappointed, because I have always thought that the small portions of the life of Benjamin F...

  • Gerry

    I have read books on American Founding Fathers that have included George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and even one on George Mason. I was reluctant in the past to read anything on Dr. Ben...

  • Joe Moody

    Edmond S. Morgan takes on a huge undertaking in this short biography of one of America’s greatest heroes. One must assume, because of his immense popularity, there being nothing left to say about B...

  • T.H. Waters

    Wow. It's an understatement to say that Benjamin Franklin was a phenomenal human being, and for that reason alone I'm really glad I read Edmund S. Morgan's biography. Having said that, it's clear that...

  • Sibella

    Finally Done Funny Animation | Forward this Picture...

  • Demetria

    We all know about the kite and we picture Benjamin Franklin in his little glasses looking quite serious, but after reading this book, it seems like Franklin was a a very flirtatious, intelligent, cha...

  • William Ng

    A little long and dry. Although it captures many aspects of Franklin's life, I felt the most exciting and compelling parts were muddled in the language of the text. A good read for anyone who is inter...

  • Mike

    I really enjoy reading about Ben Franklin, but this particular biography was difficult for me to get through. Edmund Morgan is one of the top scholars of the period, but the writing style just dragged...