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The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood

The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin

by Gordon S. Wood


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Unabridged Edition
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10 Hrs. 29 Min.
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Central to America's idea of itself is the character of Benjamin Franklin. We all know him, or think we do: In recent works and in our inherited conventional wisdom, he remains fixed in place as a genial polymath and self-improver who was so very American that he is known by us all as the first American.

The problem with this beloved notion of Franklin's quintessential Americanness, Gordon Wood shows us in this marvelous, revelatory book, is that it's simply not true. And it blinds us to the no less admirable or important but far more interesting man Franklin really was and leaves us powerless to make sense of the most crucial events of his life. Indeed, thinking of Franklin as the last American would be less of a hindrance to understanding many crucial aspects of his life: his preoccupation with becoming a gentleman; his longtime loyalty to the Crown and burning ambition to be a player in the British Empire's power structure; the personal character of his conversion to revolutionary; his reasons for writing the Autobiography; his controversies with John and Samuel Adams and with Congress; his love of Europe and conflicted sense of national identity; the fact that his death was greeted by mass mourning in France and widely ignored in America.

The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin is a landmark work, a magnificent fresh vision of Franklin's life and reputation, filled with profound insights into the Revolution and into the emergence of America's idea of itself.


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  • Published: 2002
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: T014622
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Audio CD
1565118863
9781565118867
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1565118855