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on 9 June 2016
Brilliant. Why has Franklin been omitted from English history?? I suppose the answer is obvious when the appalling stupidity of the English politicians is considered. A man who made history and whose legacy resonates today in Anglo-American relations.
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on 20 April 2008
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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on 6 August 2013
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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on 9 August 2011
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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on 4 January 2012
Reading this I had remind to myself that it is not a fiction its a biography. Absolutely loved every minute of it. One of the must have books .
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on 18 April 2015
Very comprehensive and well structured. First part can come across as hard going to those who want to skip to Franklin the revolutionary but necessary to see the change in attitude that made him so.
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on 15 November 2012
Enjoyable biography. Interesting, engaging style with a clear knowledge of the life and times of Mr Franklin. I am glad the Author has captured Mr Franklin's humour.
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on 26 January 2017
Really interesting book. Arrived quickly and very reasonable price.
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on 7 April 2014
In: joaopaleta.com

Reading Benjamin Franklin’s Biography, “The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Brands, H.W.” (and by the way what a great reading, what a great story and what a great man) I came to realize that you cannot trust everything is told to you, everything you read or everything you see. You have to question it (the Why) and use your own judgement. To filter.

Mr. Franklin was the Post Master for the colony (America) he had a printer shop (this is 18th Century), actually he had equity in several printer shops, he had royalties fees from all printings sold in all printer shops he was shareholder in, he sold raw materials to them and he was the main content producer. His goal? To sell (One example is his “Poor Richard’s Almanack” that was sold by the thousands between 1732 and 1758) and make money so he could build passive income enough which in turn would allow him to dedicate his time to his passions, including Science. He retired at the age of 42 and for another 40 years he managed to influence the course of American History. He was a (is) an inspiration, a producer of Good Content and developed an ingenious Business Model to make money out of it.

Today you have billions of currency being made out of what is now called the self-help industry, books, audio-book, workshops, theories, techniques, etc. being sold worldwide. A lot of it is Bad Content. Do the authors really want to help you? Are they inspirational? or they just want to help themselves and make money? Big difference.

I like Business. So for self-help with “Good Content”, with “Good Business Model” and that were highly influenced by Benjamin Franklin whom I admire, I recommend you:

- “Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People” (1936)

- “Stephen Covey: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (1989)

And as for self-help advise follow only if given 1. by people that love you 2. by people that are smart and 3. by people that don’t have a personal interest.

João Paleta
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on 7 June 2015
Few people in history have as many and as varied reasons to be famous as Ben Franklin, so any biography that tries to be comprehensive runs the risk of being encyclopedic, and of getting dreary with details. This one doesn't: it is an exciting read, well structured, and told with a voice that imparts the feelings of the subjects. If you're not sure which biography to read, pick this one and you won't be disappointed.
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