In this authoritative and engrossing full-scale biography, Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Einstein and Steve Jobs, shows how the most fascinating of America's founders helped define our national character.
Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us, the one who seems made of flesh rather than marble. In a sweeping narrative that follows Franklin’s life from Boston to Philadelphia to London and Paris and back, Walter Isaacson chronicles the adventures of the runaway apprentice who became, over the course of his eighty-four-year life, America’s best writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, and business strategist, as well as one of its most practical and ingenious political leaders. He explores the wit behind Poor Richard’s Almanac and the wisdom behind the Declaration of Independence, the new nation’s alliance with France, the treaty that ended the Revolution, and the compromises that created a near-perfect Constitution.
In this colorful and intimate narrative, Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklin’s amazing life, showing how he helped to forge the American national identity and why he has a particular resonance in the twenty-first century.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is abridged!! Why isn't there a warning?
I have both the book and the audiobook and I was shocked to realized that the audiobook is significantly abridged! I cannot see where in the description this is indicated and I'm frustrated because I wanted to listen to the whole book. There needs to be a highly visible warning that this is abridged.
I am an avid audiobook person and was disappointed by this book. The subject is clearly remarkable and defined an epoch of early American History. I knew little about the foundation of the truly pivotal person prior to listening to the book, by the end I understood who he was and what his achievements were.
I found the reading to be monotonous and unspired. Furthermore, the text itself was mostly a narrative with scant deep interpretation of critical events in Franklin's life. Key events had a reference but no indepth description. This leaves you unsatisfied as the timeline reading goes on.
It is a factual read, no deep dives.
Overall, I would search elsewhere, the price of the book is not worth it.
Decent book, poor production
The book itself is decent. If you've read any of the other Walter Isaacson biographies, you'll know the style.
The production, though is not as good. The reader does a good job, but it is as of no editing was done. Awkward pauses, and gross mouth and throat noises make it hard to listen any louder than a whisper. If you like to listen to audio at a normal-semi loud level, you'll hear swallows, throat gurgles, and more. Bleh.