Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth Of Ingenuity
- Biographies & Memoirs, American History
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Benjamin Franklin has always seemed the embodiment of American ingenuity and self-reliance. But in his youth, he was a conflicted young man who struggled to balance virtue against his own wayward emotions and growing ambition.
Taking Franklin to the age of forty-one, when he made his first electrical discoveries, Nick Bunker reveals the sources of his passion for learning. No other author has delved as deeply into Franklin’s family roots in Britain. By showing how his upwardly mobile ancestors passed on their own desire for knowledge, he upends the accepted image of Franklin as the ultimate self-made man.
Young Benjamin Franklin is a compelling tale of science, politics, war—and the evolution of a flawed but brilliant figure.
“[A] vibrant, perspicacious, and well-researched portrait of a man hungry for knowledge and ambitious for financial success… Bunker adroitly describes Franklin's involvement in the religious and political controversies of the day, including slavery, as well as in the scientific projects for which he became renowned. An engaging, illuminating biography of a captivating figure.”—Kirkus (Starred Review)
“Bunker re-creates a life of restless ambition as he recounts how Benjamin Franklin finds in Philadelphia the opportunity he has been seeking for deploying the printing expertise and rhetorical skills he acquired while coming-of-age in Boston… [A] nuanced portrait of the young Franklin captures the fugitive genius of a quintessential American.”—Bryce Christensen, Booklist (Starred Review)
“This thoroughly researched examination of the development of America’s earliest preeminent scientist and statesman will appeal to academics and popular history readers.”—Margaret Kappanadze, Library Journal
“No Founding Father worked harder than Benjamin Franklin to establish a reputation as that most American (and enigmatic) of types: the self-made man. But as Nick Bunker brilliantly demonstrates in this fascinating new biography of the scientist as a conflicted young man, Franklin’s past—in particular his family’s past in England—followed him every step of the way.”—Nathaniel Philbrick, author of Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
“It is nearly impossible to say anything new about Benjamin Franklin, but Nick Bunker has done it brilliantly with this study of the young Franklin. An extraordinary achievement.”—Gordon S. Wood, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Radicalism of the American Revolution, and Professor of History at Brown University
“Shockingly original, thoroughly researched, and strikingly well written, Young Benjamin Franklin has something for everyone. It’s the best book on Franklin in more than a decade. Nick Bunker has once again made the familiar strange and wondrous.”—David Waldstreicher, Distinguished Professor of History at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and author of Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery and the American Revolution
“Make room on the top shelf of all Franklin biographies. Bunker here provides a stunning reappraisal of America’s most self-created genius, loaded with Franklinesque wisdom on every page, carried forward on the wings of words that simply sing.”—Joseph Ellis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation and American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson
Additional Book Details
|Release Date:||September 18, 2018|