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The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin [Paperback]

H. W. Brands
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.62
Price: 10.52 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

Mar 2002
National Bestseller 

He was the foremost American of his day, yet today he is little more than a mythic caricature in the public imagination. Benjamin Franklin, perhaps the pivotal figure in colonial and revolutionary America, comes vividly to life in this masterly biography.

Wit, diplomat, scientist, philosopher, businessman, inventor, and bon vivant, Benjamin Franklin was in every respect America’s first Renaissance man. From penniless runaway to highly successful printer, from ardently loyal subject of Britain to architect of an alliance with France that ensured America’s independence, Franklin went from obscurity to become one of the world’s most admired figures, whose circle included the likes of Voltaire, Hume, Burke, and Kant. Drawing on previously unpublished letters and a host of other sources, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands has written a thoroughly engaging biography of the eighteenth-century genius. A much needed reminder of Franklin’s greatness and humanity, The First American is a work of meticulous scholarship that provides a magnificent tour of a legendary historical figure, a vital era in American life, and the countless arenas in which the protean Franklin left his legacy.

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The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin + The Autobiography (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Books; Reprint edition (Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385495404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385495400
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.5 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 282,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A lesser man would have been humiliated. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first biography 20 April 2008
Format:Paperback
The most complete biography for Benjamin Franklin and as I read on I found myself wondering why we have never known these facts about Franklin. So little time has pased by and we forget so much, H.W. Brands tells us what has been forgoten. I couldn't put this book down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Book 9 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A fascinating account of the approach towards Independence of the United States of America.

For me Benjamin Franklin is one of the greatest figures in the history of the world. His scientific achievements and his close involvement in world-forming events make reading this book a truly wonderful experience. I feel that I have learned a great deal about the man and the period of history he influenced so much.

Benjamin Franklin gained the admiration of his peers and this book will ensure he gains the admiration of all those who read it.

A remarkable man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive & Entertaining 6 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You certainly get value for money with this book as the author covers Franklin's life in excellent detail. Despite Franklin being a perfect biographical subject he was involved in a political world that could be inaccessible to the general (UK) reader. In my opinion, the author pitches these sections of the book perfectly as to make them interesting and very readable - Please don't worry that this is merely a political biography as Franklin's interests were too diverse to let that happen.

As someone pretty ignorant of the subject, I particularly enjoyed learning about Franklin's involvement in US Independence and as a result am prompted to read further on this period of US history.

This was one of the best biographies I have read and would recommend it to anyone interested in learning about the life and times of one of history's greatest characters. I will also be reading more from the author, H.W Brands.
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