The concluding chapter is the most interesting of the book. The reader will fall in love with this high-spirited, larger-than-life character who, above all the founders, was the most committed—in practice and in theory—to the common man. He also was interested early on in a high level of cooperation among the separate colonies. But the evidence that Franklin would have so suffered is weak and does not do justice either to him or to Harvard. We could still be a British colony without him - or even a French one! If anything, Isaacson engages in a bit of scholarly overkill at the end, providing a separate conclusion and epilogue on Franklin's legacy, a chronology of important dates, brief biographies of all the supporting characters in the story, conversion tables that provide modern dollar equivalents for British and colonial currency, an annotated bibliography and about 50 pages of endnotes. A caricature that would be instantly recognisable in The Simpsons, this biography paints a vivid portrait of the man, his times, family, morals, scientific enquiry and political journey. Talk about some of the community groups that Franklin founded and how they reflect his belief in civic virtue for the common good.
It is a thoroughly researched, crisply written, convincingly argued chronicle that is also studded with little nuggets of fresh information. He has been vilified in romantic periods and lionized in entrepreneurial ones. The book was based on over forty interviews with Jobs over a two-year period up until shortly before his death, and on conversations with friends, family members, and business rivals of the entrepreneur. However, later on in life after working with the school for black children he had a change of heart and became an outspoken abolitionist ~100 years before they would be set free. Together they would live to unusually ripe ages—he to 87, she to 84.
It is lengthy over 600 pages and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. A bit disproportionate but given the importance of the American Revolution and all…still at times I felt it was not long enough when dealing with his science and philosophy and that it was too long when dealing with his many acquaintances and diplomatic contacts. But he thought he would submit it to his friends for their amendments. Even though he was among the least privileged students, Franklin excelled in his first year, rising from the middle of the class to the very top, and then was jumped a grade ahead. When she had a stroke, followed by five years of poor health, Franklin did not return to Philadelphia, even when he was advised that she did not have long to live. Isaacson's most impressive chapter, a little tour de force of historical synthesis, focuses on Franklin's role during the Paris peace negotiations that ended the War of Independence.
Cattle, once a rarity, were being slaughtered more often, making mass manufacture of tallow possible. Franklin stopped at nothing to secure America's support from European allies and to temper the issues arising in the Mother Country. Like other Boston houses, it had small windows so that it would be easier to keep warm, but it was brightly painted to make it seem more cheerful. Franklin, when a child, found the long graces used by his father before and after meals very tedious, his grandson reported. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life.
He believed in encouraging and providing opportunities for all people to succeed as best they could based on their diligence, hard work, virtue, and talent. America's first great publicist, he was, in his life and in his writings, consciously trying to create a new American archetype. William Douglass, who dismissed inoculation as the practice of Greek old women and called Mather and his fellow ministerial proponents six gentlemen of piety and learning profoundly ignorant of the matter. Approaching five hundred pages, it comes with almost fifty pages of detailed Notes, a very handy alphabetic cast of characters list and a chronology from 1706 to 1790. As Poor Richard might have said: Only the truly great among us deserve truly great books about us. It is necessary for me to be extremely frugal for some time, till I have paid what I owe.
For that matter, which of these attributes is most important? So he promptly put Benjamin to work not only pushing type but also producing poetry. Add to this, the aforementioned William, his bastard son, became a Royal Governor of New Jersey and thus put him opposite Franklin for much of the younger's adult life. A few years later, he was introduced to the practice of inoculation by his black slave, who had undergone the procedure in Africa and showed Mather his scar. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. There was no tuition at the Latin School, and as the top of his class he would easily have won a scholarship to Harvard. And indeed, Harvard has been known to do that and worse to some of its charges. In 2014, he was appointed by New Orleans Mayor to be the co-chair of the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission, which is planning the city's 300th-anniversary commemoration in 2018.
In October 2014, Isaacson published , which explores the history of the key technological innovations that are prominent in the , most notably the parallel developments of the computer and the Internet. The next morning, he and the other culprits were caught and punished. He enjoyed Daniel Defoe's writing and shared his principles. This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Jefferson was young enough to have been his grandson! At Harvard, Isaacson was the president of the , member of the , and resident of.
As a young printer in Philadelphia, he carted rolls of paper through the streets to give the appearance of being industrious. Isaacson presents Franklin's ideas in such a way as to elevate his stature without leaving the reader to think he was better than anyone else, something biographers of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson fail to do in their respective tomes. After their arrival, Peter was able to buy her freedom for £20 and take her as his wife. He was witty, but struggled with humility and often tried to feign humility. Th I loved this book.
It became a New York Times bestseller. Unfortunately, for all its length, it's a book of connected short segments without artful, easy transitions So whether this fresh and lively work will replace Carl Van Doren's beloved 1938 Benjamin Franklin in readers' esteem remains to be seen. Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. An engaging and lively biography. In this colorful and intimate narrative, Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklin's amazing life, from his days as a runaway printer to his triumphs as a statesman, scientist, and Founding Father. While Franklin showed a varied and pleasantly passionate side, a quasi-fourth theme emerges throughout the tome; Franklin's complete abandonment of his family, particularly the women.
Despite this success, Josiah abruptly changed his mind about sending him to Harvard. As Benjamin the Elder put it, Things not succeeding there according to his mind, with the leave of his friends and father he went to New England in the year 1683. Isaacson, while pointing out his faults and follies, does not hide his own admirat If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. He was the only man who shaped all the founding documents of America: the Albany Plan of Union, the Declaration of Independence, the treaty of alliance with France, the peace treaty with England, and the Constitution. But to set up such a sharp dichotomy is to misunderstand the Puritans—and America. That he discovered the Gulf Stream? Fearing that his son would break loose and go to sea, Josiah took him on long walks through Boston to see other craftsmen, so that he could observe my inclination and endeavor to fix it on some trade that would keep me on land.