The first American : the life and times of Benjamin Franklin

by H. W. Brands

Paper Book, 2002




New York : Anchor Books, 2002.


Drawing on previously unpublished letters to and from Franklin, as well as the recollections and anecdotes of Franklin's contemporaries, H. W. Brands has created a portrait of the eighteenth-century Renaissance man who was a pivotal figure in colonial and revolutionary America.

User reviews

LibraryThing member SDiMeglio
Brands does an excellent job of bringing the many accomplishments of this fascinating genius to light, many of which were new to me. One example: using a bottle, a string, a cork and a thermometer, he found that you find the most time-saving navigational route to cross the Atlantic by measuring the temperature of the water. Going to Europe, stay in the warm water of the jet stream and ride the current. Going to the US, stay in the cold water and avoid it. This is a thoroughly enjoyable book.… (more)
LibraryThing member CritEER
- 2001 Honorable Mention Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award (recognizes books of exceptional merit written on the Revolutionary War era)
- Franklin is the most remarkable American ever...from a child runway to a success business man, world famous scientist, inventor, philosopher, and American Patriot
- The book highlights BF personal shortcomings...attraction to females of low intrigue, his relationship with his son, long separation from his wife
- I love the cast of characters in this book with individuals from France, England and of course early America Patriots
… (more)
LibraryThing member BAP1012
Very detailed life of Franklin. Although a slow read at times, it was full of wonderful information that helped me better understand this American legend.
LibraryThing member GShuk
Great audio that helps me understand both Benjamin Franklin and the times he grew up in.
LibraryThing member msaucier818
This was a solid biography covering the life of an American icon. This was the first realy biography I had read of Franklin, and I found his life to be fascinating. He was a revolutionary in every sense of the word, and all students of history should know his story. Beyond the American Revolution, his brilliance touches our lives today in ways we wouldn't even imagine. I am told that Isaacson's book is better, but I think this book certainly holds it own.… (more)
LibraryThing member Jarratt
I don't typically read biographies, but was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable and readable this book is. Granted, there were many passages I had to read over several times, but this was primarily due to the language Franklin used. I most enjoyed his early years and those that were specific to the Revolution and the creation of our Constitution. If you're looking for a Founding Father to learn more about, there's probably none better than Franklin, "The First American."… (more)



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