The First American
759 pages, 2000
biographies & memoirs997 books
economics & politics987 books
In the first comprehensive biography of Benjamin Franklin in over sixty years, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands brings vividly to life one of the most delightful, bawdy, brilliant, original, and influential figures in American history.
A groundbreaking scientist, leading businessman, philosopher, bestselling author, inventor, diplomat, politician, and wit, Benjamin Franklin was perhaps the most beloved and celebrated American of his age or age.
Now, in a beautifully written and meticulously researched account of Franklin's life and times, his clever repartee, generous spirit, and earthy wisdom are brought compellingly to the page. His circle of friends and acquaintances extended around the globe, from Cotton Mather to Voltaire, Edmund Burke to King George III, and Sir Isaac Newton to Immanuel Kant.
Franklin was gifted with a restless curiosity, and his scientific experiments with electric currents and the weather made him the leading pioneer in the new field of electricity on both sides of the Atlantic; among his many inventions were the lightning rod, the Franklin stove, and the harmonica, a musical instrument that became the rage of Europe.