The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin

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From the most respected chronicler of the early days of the Republic—and winner of both the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes—comes a landmark work that rescues Benjamin Franklin from a mythology that has blinded generations of Americans to the man he really was and makes sense of aspects of his life and career that would have otherwise remained mysterious. In place of the genial polymath, self-improver, and quintessential American, Gordon S. Wood reveals a figure much more ambiguous and complex—and much more interesting. Charting the passage of Franklin's life and reputation from relative popular indifference (his death, while the occasion for mass mourning in France, was widely ignored in America) to posthumous glory, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin sheds invaluable light on the emergence of our country's idea of itself.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ritaer - LibraryThing

An interesting examination of the changing public image of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was a loyal advocate of the British Crown until he became convinced that England would not treat the colonies ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JFBallenger - LibraryThing

A masterpiece of historical biography. Not only does Wood provide a compelling account of Franklin's life, recreating the rich political and social context of the eighteenth century Anglo-American ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
Becoming a Gentleman
17
Becoming a British Imperialist
61
Becoming a Patriot
105
Becoming a Diplomat
153
Becoming an American
201
Notes
247
Index
287
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Gordon S. Wood is the Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History at Brown University. His books include The Creation of the American Republic: 1776– 1787, which won the Bancroft Prize; the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Radicalism of the American Revolution; and The American Revolution: A History.

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