Called the “First American” and credited with “Inventing America,” Benjamin Franklin lived a life that invites hyperbole. Few rival Franklin for his range of accomplishment across a number of domains of human endeavor, and few lived a life of such consequence in one of history’s most consequential eras. In reality, Franklin’s true story eclipses the myths that pervade his legacy.
Benjamin Franklin: Made in America traces the fascinating twists and turns that make this Founding Father’s story so remarkable. In 15 dynamic audio lectures, award-winning American history professor Jeffrey Webb explores Franklin’s career beginning with his post as a young newspaperman and continuing into his leadership roles on the frontiers of cultural, intellectual, political, and scientific developments.
Webb elucidates pivotal moments when Benjamin’s contributions helped determine the fate of the continent: the Albany Congress, the Stamp Act debates, and the Treaty of Paris negotiations. He then explores Franklin’s significant contributions as a transformational statesman and innovator who discoverered the lightning rod, became the country’s first successful publisher, and created the public library system.
Perhaps most compelling, Webb shows how Franklin lent his particular genius to champion ideas considered radical in his time: free press and free speech, scientific and technological progress, and the gospel of individual self-improvement.
As you travel throughout Franklin’s life with Webb, you’ll witness the making of the modern world.
This course is part of the Learn25 collection.
I find myself interested in the details, small and large, of well-known historical figures, and will gladly read about them to learn those bits that are new to me. This lecture series is a step up from many biographies in that I was able to listen while on the go, in 25 minute chunks, and appreciate chapters of Franklin’s life that were mostly unknown to me. Dr. Webb seems to be sitting across from me, coffee cup at hand, discussing at length the many pivotal moments where old Ben became the guy you wished you’d known. I enjoyed the conversational tone of this, as opposed to the style of speaking that you might consider ‘lecturing’: drier, jammed with too many facts, possibly boring. This series has none of that. Dr. Webb introduces a chapter of Ben’s past, explains why this area is being discussed, and then fleshes out the reasons why this time of Franklin’s life matters. And I’ve come away with a greater appreciation of the Founding Father with all his warts included. Bravo!
"The Most Relatable Founding Father"
Jeff Webb provides a far different and more compelling account of Franklin's personality and accomplishments than any I've heard or read before. Webb not only delves into the intriguing backstory behind Franklin's polymath achievements, but he gives a glimpse into his compex and enigmatic personality. Great listen!
The audio book sounds like it was recorded on a laptop with no mic. Don’t buy.