Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, May 4, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 608 pages
1318 Reviews
In this authoritative and engrossing full-scale biography, Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Einstein and Steve Jobs, shows how the most fascinating of America's founders helped define our national character.

Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us, the one who seems made of flesh rather than marble. In a sweeping narrative that follows Franklinís life from Boston to Philadelphia to London and Paris and back, Walter Isaacson chronicles the adventures of the runaway apprentice who became, over the course of his eighty-four-year life, Americaís best writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, and business strategist, as well as one of its most practical and ingenious political leaders. He explores the wit behind Poor Richardís Almanac and the wisdom behind the Declaration of Independence, the new nationís alliance with France, the treaty that ended the Revolution, and the compromises that created a near-perfect Constitution.

In this colorful and intimate narrative, Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklinís amazing life, showing how he helped to forge the American national identity and why he has a particular resonance in the twenty-first century.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
423
4 stars
577
3 stars
253
2 stars
53
1 star
12

Amazing, well researched and enlightening. - Goodreads
Found this difficult to read. - Goodreads
Splendid! Great pacing, lively representations. - Goodreads
Great writing on a great person from history. - Goodreads
Excellent portrayal of a great man. - Goodreads
I love his instructions on picking up a mistress. - Goodreads

Review: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

User Review  - Goodreads

The Life of Benjamin Franklin shows what are the true values of the American middle class. His political involvement played a crucial role in American independence in the 18th century. Read full review

Review: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

User Review  - John P - Goodreads

This was a well written biography and an easy read. Read full review

All 7 reviews »

Contents

CHAPTER
1
CHAPTER THREE
36
CHAPTER FOUR
52
CHAPTER FIVE
102
CHAPTER
129
CHAPTER SEVEN
146
CHAPTER EIGHT
175
Philadelphia 17631764
206
CHAPTER TWELVE
290
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
325
CHAPTER FOURTEEN
350
CHAPTER FIFTEEN
382
CHAPTER SIXTEEN
436
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
471
Cast of Characters
495
Chronology
503

CHAPTER
219
CHAPTER ELEVEN
252
Sources and Abbreviations
510
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution; Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. He lives in Washington, DC. Follow him on Twitter @WalterIsaacson.

Bibliographic information