Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Benjamin Franklin is the Founding Father who winks at us. An ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings, he seems made of flesh rather than of marble. In bestselling author Walter Isaacson's vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why Franklin seems to turn to us from history's stage with eyes Benjamin Franklin is the Founding Father who winks at us. An ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, f...

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Title:Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Author:Walter Isaacson
Rating:
Genres:Biography
ISBN:Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:586 pages pages

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life Reviews

  • Sara
    Feb 16, 2008

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

    I enjoy providing background in my reviews of how I?ve acquired or read a book, because I believe it helps to paint a picture of my tastes, desires, and it might even give you more information about me. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. I bought this...

    A totally comprehensive biography of Franklin, the eldest of the Founding Fathers, and how he pulled himself up from being a printer's apprentice to a merchant, diplomat, politician and scientist. Isaacson presents a very rounded portrayal of his character in this impressive work. A ma...

    Ben Franklin is one of my heroes, along with Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and a few others. As I start my march through reading books about American presidents, I figured I?d start with a famous American who was never a president but was deeply involved in creating the situation...

    Isaacson is getting a lot of attention and reading right now for his Steve Jobs biography and there is some symmetry in his biography of Franklin, surely the Steve Jobs of his day, (a comparison favorable to Jobs, for sure.) Isaacson does a great job in placing Franklin in his start...

    Probably the best biographical source on Benjamin Franklin is straight fron the horses mouth . . . his Autobiography. However, Isaacson's book is definitely an engaging read and fairly exhaustive. My initial impression is that the author is careful in not falling into the a trap ...

    Comprehensively researched and well balanced biography, in very similar territory as McCullough's highly recommended treatise on John Adams. Isaacson's 'Benjamin Franklin-An American Life', published 2003, captures the extraordinary and many faceted eighty four year life of this foundi...

    I absolutely loved this book. I picked this book up in an antique store in Virginia, of all places, and it sat on my shelf for a year and a half before I got around to reading it. But once I opened it I couldn't get enough of Dr. Franklin. Benjamin Franklin is the MAN. I was con...

  • Joe
    May 02, 2012

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

    I enjoy providing background in my reviews of how I?ve acquired or read a book, because I believe it helps to paint a picture of my tastes, desires, and it might even give you more information about me. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. I bought this...

    A totally comprehensive biography of Franklin, the eldest of the Founding Fathers, and how he pulled himself up from being a printer's apprentice to a merchant, diplomat, politician and scientist. Isaacson presents a very rounded portrayal of his character in this impressive work. A ma...

    Ben Franklin is one of my heroes, along with Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and a few others. As I start my march through reading books about American presidents, I figured I?d start with a famous American who was never a president but was deeply involved in creating the situation...

    Isaacson is getting a lot of attention and reading right now for his Steve Jobs biography and there is some symmetry in his biography of Franklin, surely the Steve Jobs of his day, (a comparison favorable to Jobs, for sure.) Isaacson does a great job in placing Franklin in his start...

  • Dylan
    Aug 27, 2007

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

  • Chrissie
    Dec 01, 2010

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

  • Chantal
    Apr 23, 2008

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

  • Dan
    Jan 26, 2008

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

    I enjoy providing background in my reviews of how I?ve acquired or read a book, because I believe it helps to paint a picture of my tastes, desires, and it might even give you more information about me. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. I bought this...

  • Nate Cooley
    Feb 08, 2008

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

    I enjoy providing background in my reviews of how I?ve acquired or read a book, because I believe it helps to paint a picture of my tastes, desires, and it might even give you more information about me. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. I bought this...

    A totally comprehensive biography of Franklin, the eldest of the Founding Fathers, and how he pulled himself up from being a printer's apprentice to a merchant, diplomat, politician and scientist. Isaacson presents a very rounded portrayal of his character in this impressive work. A ma...

    Ben Franklin is one of my heroes, along with Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and a few others. As I start my march through reading books about American presidents, I figured I?d start with a famous American who was never a president but was deeply involved in creating the situation...

    Isaacson is getting a lot of attention and reading right now for his Steve Jobs biography and there is some symmetry in his biography of Franklin, surely the Steve Jobs of his day, (a comparison favorable to Jobs, for sure.) Isaacson does a great job in placing Franklin in his start...

    Probably the best biographical source on Benjamin Franklin is straight fron the horses mouth . . . his Autobiography. However, Isaacson's book is definitely an engaging read and fairly exhaustive. My initial impression is that the author is careful in not falling into the a trap ...

  • Suzanne
    Apr 20, 2008

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

  • Sue
    Mar 28, 2018

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

  • Laura
    Jan 01, 2009

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

  • Margaretann
    Aug 13, 2008

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

  • Jason Koivu
    Nov 22, 2008

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

  • Pete daPixie
    May 19, 2012

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

    I enjoy providing background in my reviews of how I?ve acquired or read a book, because I believe it helps to paint a picture of my tastes, desires, and it might even give you more information about me. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. I bought this...

    A totally comprehensive biography of Franklin, the eldest of the Founding Fathers, and how he pulled himself up from being a printer's apprentice to a merchant, diplomat, politician and scientist. Isaacson presents a very rounded portrayal of his character in this impressive work. A ma...

    Ben Franklin is one of my heroes, along with Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and a few others. As I start my march through reading books about American presidents, I figured I?d start with a famous American who was never a president but was deeply involved in creating the situation...

    Isaacson is getting a lot of attention and reading right now for his Steve Jobs biography and there is some symmetry in his biography of Franklin, surely the Steve Jobs of his day, (a comparison favorable to Jobs, for sure.) Isaacson does a great job in placing Franklin in his start...

    Probably the best biographical source on Benjamin Franklin is straight fron the horses mouth . . . his Autobiography. However, Isaacson's book is definitely an engaging read and fairly exhaustive. My initial impression is that the author is careful in not falling into the a trap ...

    Comprehensively researched and well balanced biography, in very similar territory as McCullough's highly recommended treatise on John Adams. Isaacson's 'Benjamin Franklin-An American Life', published 2003, captures the extraordinary and many faceted eighty four year life of this foundi...

  • Sean
    Oct 23, 2016

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

  • Lisa (Harmonybites)
    Oct 15, 2012

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

  • Kate Carlisle
    Dec 27, 2011

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

    I enjoy providing background in my reviews of how I?ve acquired or read a book, because I believe it helps to paint a picture of my tastes, desires, and it might even give you more information about me. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. I bought this...

    A totally comprehensive biography of Franklin, the eldest of the Founding Fathers, and how he pulled himself up from being a printer's apprentice to a merchant, diplomat, politician and scientist. Isaacson presents a very rounded portrayal of his character in this impressive work. A ma...

    Ben Franklin is one of my heroes, along with Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and a few others. As I start my march through reading books about American presidents, I figured I?d start with a famous American who was never a president but was deeply involved in creating the situation...

    Isaacson is getting a lot of attention and reading right now for his Steve Jobs biography and there is some symmetry in his biography of Franklin, surely the Steve Jobs of his day, (a comparison favorable to Jobs, for sure.) Isaacson does a great job in placing Franklin in his start...

    Probably the best biographical source on Benjamin Franklin is straight fron the horses mouth . . . his Autobiography. However, Isaacson's book is definitely an engaging read and fairly exhaustive. My initial impression is that the author is careful in not falling into the a trap ...

    Comprehensively researched and well balanced biography, in very similar territory as McCullough's highly recommended treatise on John Adams. Isaacson's 'Benjamin Franklin-An American Life', published 2003, captures the extraordinary and many faceted eighty four year life of this foundi...

    I absolutely loved this book. I picked this book up in an antique store in Virginia, of all places, and it sat on my shelf for a year and a half before I got around to reading it. But once I opened it I couldn't get enough of Dr. Franklin. Benjamin Franklin is the MAN. I was con...

    Readers searching for a readable, engaging, and page turning account of the least patrician of the Founding Fathers can search here for a very fun read through the life of Franklin. Filled with his aphorisms and wisdom, but never glossing past his failings (his family life was very com...

    I learned so many interesting things about Franklin from reading this book, and about the early days of our country. For example, for a long time, Franklin didn't want America to declare independence. He tried very diligently to get England to change its behavior toward the colonies, a...

  • Jimmy
    Jan 19, 2017

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

  • Jeremy Perron
    Jan 18, 2012

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

    I enjoy providing background in my reviews of how I?ve acquired or read a book, because I believe it helps to paint a picture of my tastes, desires, and it might even give you more information about me. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. I bought this...

    A totally comprehensive biography of Franklin, the eldest of the Founding Fathers, and how he pulled himself up from being a printer's apprentice to a merchant, diplomat, politician and scientist. Isaacson presents a very rounded portrayal of his character in this impressive work. A ma...

    Ben Franklin is one of my heroes, along with Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and a few others. As I start my march through reading books about American presidents, I figured I?d start with a famous American who was never a president but was deeply involved in creating the situation...

    Isaacson is getting a lot of attention and reading right now for his Steve Jobs biography and there is some symmetry in his biography of Franklin, surely the Steve Jobs of his day, (a comparison favorable to Jobs, for sure.) Isaacson does a great job in placing Franklin in his start...

    Probably the best biographical source on Benjamin Franklin is straight fron the horses mouth . . . his Autobiography. However, Isaacson's book is definitely an engaging read and fairly exhaustive. My initial impression is that the author is careful in not falling into the a trap ...

    Comprehensively researched and well balanced biography, in very similar territory as McCullough's highly recommended treatise on John Adams. Isaacson's 'Benjamin Franklin-An American Life', published 2003, captures the extraordinary and many faceted eighty four year life of this foundi...

    I absolutely loved this book. I picked this book up in an antique store in Virginia, of all places, and it sat on my shelf for a year and a half before I got around to reading it. But once I opened it I couldn't get enough of Dr. Franklin. Benjamin Franklin is the MAN. I was con...

    Readers searching for a readable, engaging, and page turning account of the least patrician of the Founding Fathers can search here for a very fun read through the life of Franklin. Filled with his aphorisms and wisdom, but never glossing past his failings (his family life was very com...

    I learned so many interesting things about Franklin from reading this book, and about the early days of our country. For example, for a long time, Franklin didn't want America to declare independence. He tried very diligently to get England to change its behavior toward the colonies, a...

    Walter Isaacson?s 2003 Ben Franklin An American Life makes a wonderful complement to the 1938 Pulitzer Prize winning Benjamin Franklin by Carl Van Doren. Van Doren?s book is dense and exhaustive and admiring of both the man and his work. Isaacson is thorough as well, but more read...

    I had a problem paying attention to history in high school, and even in college. I did passably well and forgot 90% of what I learned. I was way more focused on biology and astronomy and thought history was boring. As a result, whenever history comes up in conversation I feel way out o...

    To say that Benjamin Franklin led an interesting life would be the understatement of the century. Dr. Franklin was the first American to be world famous. He was an American Revolutionary, a theorist on government, a scientist in nearly all fields, and a printer being his first professi...

  • Matt
    Jul 08, 2015

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

  • Brad Feld
    Jan 11, 2015

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

    I enjoy providing background in my reviews of how I?ve acquired or read a book, because I believe it helps to paint a picture of my tastes, desires, and it might even give you more information about me. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. I bought this...

    A totally comprehensive biography of Franklin, the eldest of the Founding Fathers, and how he pulled himself up from being a printer's apprentice to a merchant, diplomat, politician and scientist. Isaacson presents a very rounded portrayal of his character in this impressive work. A ma...

    Ben Franklin is one of my heroes, along with Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and a few others. As I start my march through reading books about American presidents, I figured I?d start with a famous American who was never a president but was deeply involved in creating the situation...

  • T-bone
    Dec 17, 2012

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

  • Jerome
    Jul 12, 2012

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

  • Carl R.
    May 06, 2012

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

    I enjoy providing background in my reviews of how I?ve acquired or read a book, because I believe it helps to paint a picture of my tastes, desires, and it might even give you more information about me. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. I bought this...

    A totally comprehensive biography of Franklin, the eldest of the Founding Fathers, and how he pulled himself up from being a printer's apprentice to a merchant, diplomat, politician and scientist. Isaacson presents a very rounded portrayal of his character in this impressive work. A ma...

    Ben Franklin is one of my heroes, along with Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and a few others. As I start my march through reading books about American presidents, I figured I?d start with a famous American who was never a president but was deeply involved in creating the situation...

    Isaacson is getting a lot of attention and reading right now for his Steve Jobs biography and there is some symmetry in his biography of Franklin, surely the Steve Jobs of his day, (a comparison favorable to Jobs, for sure.) Isaacson does a great job in placing Franklin in his start...

    Probably the best biographical source on Benjamin Franklin is straight fron the horses mouth . . . his Autobiography. However, Isaacson's book is definitely an engaging read and fairly exhaustive. My initial impression is that the author is careful in not falling into the a trap ...

    Comprehensively researched and well balanced biography, in very similar territory as McCullough's highly recommended treatise on John Adams. Isaacson's 'Benjamin Franklin-An American Life', published 2003, captures the extraordinary and many faceted eighty four year life of this foundi...

    I absolutely loved this book. I picked this book up in an antique store in Virginia, of all places, and it sat on my shelf for a year and a half before I got around to reading it. But once I opened it I couldn't get enough of Dr. Franklin. Benjamin Franklin is the MAN. I was con...

    Readers searching for a readable, engaging, and page turning account of the least patrician of the Founding Fathers can search here for a very fun read through the life of Franklin. Filled with his aphorisms and wisdom, but never glossing past his failings (his family life was very com...

    I learned so many interesting things about Franklin from reading this book, and about the early days of our country. For example, for a long time, Franklin didn't want America to declare independence. He tried very diligently to get England to change its behavior toward the colonies, a...

    Walter Isaacson?s 2003 Ben Franklin An American Life makes a wonderful complement to the 1938 Pulitzer Prize winning Benjamin Franklin by Carl Van Doren. Van Doren?s book is dense and exhaustive and admiring of both the man and his work. Isaacson is thorough as well, but more read...

  • Dan
    Dec 04, 2017

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

  • Ahn Mur
    Oct 31, 2017

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

  • Brian Willis
    Aug 04, 2016

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

    I enjoy providing background in my reviews of how I?ve acquired or read a book, because I believe it helps to paint a picture of my tastes, desires, and it might even give you more information about me. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. I bought this...

    A totally comprehensive biography of Franklin, the eldest of the Founding Fathers, and how he pulled himself up from being a printer's apprentice to a merchant, diplomat, politician and scientist. Isaacson presents a very rounded portrayal of his character in this impressive work. A ma...

    Ben Franklin is one of my heroes, along with Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and a few others. As I start my march through reading books about American presidents, I figured I?d start with a famous American who was never a president but was deeply involved in creating the situation...

    Isaacson is getting a lot of attention and reading right now for his Steve Jobs biography and there is some symmetry in his biography of Franklin, surely the Steve Jobs of his day, (a comparison favorable to Jobs, for sure.) Isaacson does a great job in placing Franklin in his start...

    Probably the best biographical source on Benjamin Franklin is straight fron the horses mouth . . . his Autobiography. However, Isaacson's book is definitely an engaging read and fairly exhaustive. My initial impression is that the author is careful in not falling into the a trap ...

    Comprehensively researched and well balanced biography, in very similar territory as McCullough's highly recommended treatise on John Adams. Isaacson's 'Benjamin Franklin-An American Life', published 2003, captures the extraordinary and many faceted eighty four year life of this foundi...

    I absolutely loved this book. I picked this book up in an antique store in Virginia, of all places, and it sat on my shelf for a year and a half before I got around to reading it. But once I opened it I couldn't get enough of Dr. Franklin. Benjamin Franklin is the MAN. I was con...

    Readers searching for a readable, engaging, and page turning account of the least patrician of the Founding Fathers can search here for a very fun read through the life of Franklin. Filled with his aphorisms and wisdom, but never glossing past his failings (his family life was very com...

  • Luís C.
    Aug 20, 2014

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

  • Esmerelda Weatherwax
    Mar 29, 2017

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

    I enjoy providing background in my reviews of how I?ve acquired or read a book, because I believe it helps to paint a picture of my tastes, desires, and it might even give you more information about me. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. I bought this...

    A totally comprehensive biography of Franklin, the eldest of the Founding Fathers, and how he pulled himself up from being a printer's apprentice to a merchant, diplomat, politician and scientist. Isaacson presents a very rounded portrayal of his character in this impressive work. A ma...

    Ben Franklin is one of my heroes, along with Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and a few others. As I start my march through reading books about American presidents, I figured I?d start with a famous American who was never a president but was deeply involved in creating the situation...

    Isaacson is getting a lot of attention and reading right now for his Steve Jobs biography and there is some symmetry in his biography of Franklin, surely the Steve Jobs of his day, (a comparison favorable to Jobs, for sure.) Isaacson does a great job in placing Franklin in his start...

    Probably the best biographical source on Benjamin Franklin is straight fron the horses mouth . . . his Autobiography. However, Isaacson's book is definitely an engaging read and fairly exhaustive. My initial impression is that the author is careful in not falling into the a trap ...

    Comprehensively researched and well balanced biography, in very similar territory as McCullough's highly recommended treatise on John Adams. Isaacson's 'Benjamin Franklin-An American Life', published 2003, captures the extraordinary and many faceted eighty four year life of this foundi...

    I absolutely loved this book. I picked this book up in an antique store in Virginia, of all places, and it sat on my shelf for a year and a half before I got around to reading it. But once I opened it I couldn't get enough of Dr. Franklin. Benjamin Franklin is the MAN. I was con...

    Readers searching for a readable, engaging, and page turning account of the least patrician of the Founding Fathers can search here for a very fun read through the life of Franklin. Filled with his aphorisms and wisdom, but never glossing past his failings (his family life was very com...

    I learned so many interesting things about Franklin from reading this book, and about the early days of our country. For example, for a long time, Franklin didn't want America to declare independence. He tried very diligently to get England to change its behavior toward the colonies, a...

    Walter Isaacson?s 2003 Ben Franklin An American Life makes a wonderful complement to the 1938 Pulitzer Prize winning Benjamin Franklin by Carl Van Doren. Van Doren?s book is dense and exhaustive and admiring of both the man and his work. Isaacson is thorough as well, but more read...

    I had a problem paying attention to history in high school, and even in college. I did passably well and forgot 90% of what I learned. I was way more focused on biology and astronomy and thought history was boring. As a result, whenever history comes up in conversation I feel way out o...

  • Michael Finocchiaro
    Nov 01, 2015

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

  • David Highton
    Jun 23, 2018

    If Alexander Hamilton is one of the most underappreciated of the Founders then Benjamin Franklin is one of the most misunderstood. Isaacson ends his book with a concluding chapter that details this misundestanding. Throughout history each generation has taken a new look at Benjamin Fra...

    An excellent start-to-finish biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life begins by touching on his childhood as best as it can considering the lack of material to work with. After that, Isaacson takes the reader through a more detailed account of Franklin's early entrepreneurial lif...

    ETA: I decided to change this to four stars since I enjoyed the author's Einstein even more, and I gave that four. *********************** Why do YOU want to pick up a book about Benjamin Franklin? If you want his biographical details you need not even read a book, just check out...

    A so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is among the most influential figures of his time, whose scientific discoveries and philosophical and business ideas reverberate around the world. It is also a flesh and blood man who was instrumental in the developme...

    The only time this book caught my attention was when I fell asleep reading it in bed and dropped it on my face. I stopped reading before I hurt myself further. This fascinating insight on page 82 was the last straw, "For the last 17 years of Deborah's life, Franklin would be away, incl...

    This was a pleasure and just the kind of biography I find trustworthy. The kind that acknowledges other views and controversies and with extensive notes and sources in the back. More than that, it's the rare biography that can inspire smiles and even giggles--I'd mark this up to five s...

    Seeking to continue my trek to better understand the birth of America and its Founding Fathers, I tackled Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book offers not only a great examination of the man, but also a wonderful set of vignettes related to all the activities Frank...

    I loved this book. Isaacson did a fair and balanced job, describing the man without whitewashing over his flaws. By the end, I felt like Franklin was mine, like he somehow belonged to me. I knew he would be an interesting person, but I had no idea how much this man did with his life. N...

    An excellent biography of America's greatest statesman. As told in this litany by Isaacson, it was astonishing to learn that so many principles of our government and constitution are in whole or in part Franklin's ideas or were ideas that Franklin advocated for. I would say that the se...

    This is a throroughly entertaining, well-researched, well-written biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. It is lengthy (over 600 pages) and one feels obligated to read the footnotes because they further the work. The first third of the book moved quickly (childhood, moving ...

    An abridged audio tape. America was so lucky to have men like Benjamin Franklin to start us off. I read his Autobiography as a high school student, and it inspired me to be a better person. I may read it again now. When I look at today's "conservative" movement, I am ashamed of it....

    Went to the King Tut exhibit in 2007 and was equally impressed by the Ben Franklin museum - where the exhibit was shown in PA. Loved this book; learned so much - maybe I'm a nerd but it was a page turner that I looked forward to each day! ...

    Biographies generally bore me, and this was no exception. So pedestrian, so conventional, so obviously a poor rehashing of much better Franklin biographies that preceded this one. One wonders why Isaacson even bothered to write the book. Money, perhaps? Whatever his motivation, the ...

    I swear I didn?t know he would be Job?s biographer when I purchased this book. I purchased it after reading the Einstein biography by Mr. Isaacson several months ago. This biography is on par with that one. Insightful and complete, we get an good appreciation for this mythical patr...

    This took a while. Not that the two have a whole lot in common, but the sheer size of it reminded me of War and Peace; it felt like it was too long until after I finished it, wherein I could appreciate that the length itself was a necessary medium for expressing the shocking length of ...

    This book gave me a much broader perspective on Benjamin Franklin. I had read his autobiography in junior high and loved it. I determined that he was the genre of person I would have enjoyed as a friend. The man thinks like me in many respects. I adopted some of his ideas because they ...

    Franklin was way ahead of his time both in thought and in action. From building a media conglomerate to retiring at 42 and becoming a scientist to seeing what the British did to the Irish and not wanting that same fate for America to traveling to France in his 70's with gout to convinc...

    A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the Franklin museum in Philadelphia. I was stunned by the diversity of Franklin?s contributions to the new nation and to science. The all too popular image is of a bald man flying a kite under dangerous conditions, while spouting cheerful advi...

    I enjoy providing background in my reviews of how I?ve acquired or read a book, because I believe it helps to paint a picture of my tastes, desires, and it might even give you more information about me. In other words, maybe the books I read act as my own autobiography. I bought this...

    A totally comprehensive biography of Franklin, the eldest of the Founding Fathers, and how he pulled himself up from being a printer's apprentice to a merchant, diplomat, politician and scientist. Isaacson presents a very rounded portrayal of his character in this impressive work. A ma...