History's Locomotives: Revolutions and the Making of the Modern World
This engaging book reveals Benjamin Franklin's human side, his tastes and habits, his enthusiasms, and his devotion to democracy and the people of the United States. Three hundred years after his birth, we may remember Franklin's famous autobiography, or his status as framer of the Declaration of Independence, or perhaps his sage advice on diligence and thrift. But historian Edmund Morgan invites us to meet the man himself, an ordinary, sociable, good-natured human being with boundless curiosity about the natural world and a vision of what America could be. Drawing on life-long research in the vast Franklin archives, Morgan assembles lesser-known writings that offer insights into this founding father's thinking. The book is organized around three major themes, each with an introduction. The first section includes journal excerpts and letters revealing Franklin's personal tastes and habits. The second is devoted to Franklin's inexhaustible intellectual energy and his scientific discoveries. The third chronicles his devotion to serving the people who became the United States, and to his democratic vision of their independent future. Franklin's humanity and genius have never seemed more real than in the pages of this appealing anthology.
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