Benjamin Franklin

by Edmond S. Morgan

This book group book (offered by Theresa) was a fascinating read though I didn't much like the writing style. I felt like I was reading someone's lecture. That shouldn't be too surprising considering that the author is a college professor.

I was fascinated to learn that a good portion of Franklin's early career was dedicated to preserving the union between Great Britain and America. He started to consider himself an American (as opposed to a British American) only after he tried for several years to get the British government to take heed of the rights and opinions of the English subjects living in the colonies.

This book offered many views of Franklin (scientist, statesman, ladies' man), but wasn't able to bring Franklin alive for me. It introduced questions that it didn't answer, though those questions seem to be unanswerable: who was the mother of Franklin's illegitimate son, William? how did he feel/react to the rift between him and William caused by the American rebellion? why did he spend so much time away from his wife? did he mourn her death during is extended appointment to France?

On the other hand, this book did interest me in reading more about Ben Franklin (especially his autobiography), the Revolutionary War, and biographies on other important American characters of the age, especially John Adams and George Washington.

In the final analysis, I just don't read enough non-fiction to recommend or pan this book. And while I didn't enjoy the author's writing style, I did find it an interesting and informative read.

Posted by jfer at October 23, 2003 11:32 PM | TrackBack

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