The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin

Front Cover
Penguin, May 31, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 320 pages
11 Reviews
From the most respected chronicler of the early days of the Republic—and winner of both the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes—comes a landmark work that rescues Benjamin Franklin from a mythology that has blinded generations of Americans to the man he really was and makes sense of aspects of his life and career that would have otherwise remained mysterious. In place of the genial polymath, self-improver, and quintessential American, Gordon S. Wood reveals a figure much more ambiguous and complex—and much more interesting. Charting the passage of Franklin’s life and reputation from relative popular indifference (his death, while the occasion for mass mourning in France, was widely ignored in America) to posthumous glory, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin sheds invaluable light on the emergence of our country’s idea of itself.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
5
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookworm12 - LibraryThing

It’s important to understand that this is not a biography of Franklin in the normal sense. It does tell the story of his life and his rise to political influence, but it’s more about how his ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HistReader - LibraryThing

I must say this was a tough dose of reality to read; Ben Franklin has been my favorite Founding Fathers for a while now, but I never really knew him in such a three dimensional way until now. In ... Read full review

Contents

PREFACE
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION
ONE BECOMING A GENTLEMAN
TWO BECOMING A BRITISH IMPERIALIST
THREE BECOMING A PATRIOT
FOUR BECOMING A DIPLOMAT
FIVE BECOMING AN AMERICAN
NOTES
ILLUSTRATION CREDITS
INDEX
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Gordon S. Wood is the Alva O. Way University Professor and professor of history at Brown University. His 1969 book The Creation of the American Republic 1776-1787 received the Bancroft and John H. Dunning prizes, and was nominated for the National Book Award. His 1992 book The Radicalism of the American Revolution, won the Pulitzer Prize and the Emerson Prize. His 2009 book Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815, won the 2010 New York Historical Society Prize in American History. Wood's other books include Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders DifferentThe Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of HistoryThe Americanization of Benjamin Franklin, and most recently, The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States, and he contributes regularly to The New Republic and The New York Review of Books.

Bibliographic information