Benjamin Franklin: The First Civilized American

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Cosimo, Inc., Feb 1, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 396 pages
[A]t the age of 24, Benjamin becomes the head of his own business, without having saved any money, without having worked unusually hard, without having omitted any of the pleasures beloved by imaginative youth, and without having lived up to any of the maxims for which he is later to become renowned. -from "Chapter XI: Philadelphia's Youngest Master-Printer" It's with equal measures of unstinting respect and gentle reproach that renowned biographer Phillips Russell tackles the life of one of the legendary figures of colonial America and the Revolution, a figure he deems "mirthful, generous, open-minded, learned, tolerant, and humor-loving...the first American man of the world." A delight to read, this is a cheerful, warmly admiring recounting of the story of the printer and the politician, the debaucher and the diplomat, a man whose "chief weakness" was a lack of aptitude for mathematics, who was "not above looking to the church to do police duty over his womenfolk," who was "midwife at the birth of the world's first great republic." Profusely illustrated and bursting with the author's enthusiasm as well as its subject's abundant personality, this is a classic of American historical literature. American journalist CHARLES PHILLIPS RUSSELL (1883-1974) was a newspaper editor and professor of English and journalism at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is the author of numerous books, including biographies of Thomas Jefferson, John Paul Jones, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and William the Conqueror.
 

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Contents

CHAPTER Prefatory Catechism
1
The Business of Life is with Matter
27
The Boy Publisher
32
Exile
42
The New Home
46
The Return from Exile
54
London and The Dangerous Time of Youth
70
First Studies of Men and Things
87
Army General and Ambassador
175
Conquests in England
187
Political Slings and Arrows
197
In London for the Third Time
203
Franklin Meets the High Priest of the Hell Fire Club
214
The Attack in the Cockpit
228
The Defeat of Pitt and Peace
238
Assistant at the Birth of a Republic
242

Franklin Begins to Find Himself
87
A Young Man States His Creed of Life
93
Philadelphias Youngest MasterPrinter
105
Money Making and Saving
120
Marriage
124
The Era of Poor Richard
129
First Ventures in Politics
145
The First Thrills from Science
150
The Challenge to the Clouds
158
Projects Ripen and Increase
163
Franklins Humorous Year
170
A Fur Caf among Powdered Heads
254
A Chapter of Altercations
268
Franklin and Madame Britton
277
Franklin and Madame Helvetius
290
Franklin and the Countess dHoudetot
296
Final Days in France
300
Home Is the Sailor
312
Franklins Will
321
Conclusion
324
Index
327
Copyright

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Page 19 - This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engaged in promoting; and, as the chief ends of conversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or to persuade...
Page 21 - He is a gentleman that is very singular in his behaviour, but his singularities proceed from his good sense, and are contradictions to the manners of the world, only as he thinks the world is in the wrong.

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