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The Real Benjamin Franklin (American Classics Series #2)

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  521 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews

The Real Benjamin Franklin: The True Story of America's Greatest Diplomat. There are many Benjamin Franklins -- or at least he has taken on many different forms in the history books of the last two centuries. Some historians have shown us an aged statesman whose wise and steadying influence kept the Constitutional Convention together in 1787, while others have conjured up

Paperback, 504 pages
Published August 1st 1982 by National Center for Constitutional Studies (first published 1982)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,396)
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Jeff Stockett
May 19, 2011 Jeff Stockett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, political
I enjoyed this book immensely. I didn't realize how little I knew about Benjamin Franklin until I read this book and discovered so many new things.

Here are just a few things that impressed me about his life:
- He had an incredible work ethic. He worked hard and got out of debt so that he was able to retire in his forties
- He desired to serve others. Most of his life was spent away from his family serving his country as an ambassador to the European nations.
- He was an avid reader. It was said
Jul 12, 2011 Daleb. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the beginings of the American experienc what Really went on with Dr. Franklin.
Recommended to Daleb. by: My younger brother Tracy
Very interesting and delightful book about a very misunderstood and misinterpreted man!
After my second time around w/the main portion of this book, I finally managed to get through the Timeless Treasures portion of it. My attention span isn't what it used to be and reading all the very short letters, notes, etc., on various subjects from his life was very hard for me to get through. Too short to really get into, but too interesting to Not read. This sort of thing makes me wish for an eidetic mem
Kristina Seleshanko
Jun 08, 2011 Kristina Seleshanko rated it really liked it
This is an accurate, easy to read biography, based on Franklin's autobiography, letters, and publications. It is well footnoted and largely cites original sources. This is a great book not just for adults, but for kids 6th grade and up who want a broad understanding of the man. The author also briefly discusses two prominent rumors about Franklin, sometimes cited as fact in textbooks: that he had an illegitimate child and that he was a ladies' man. The biography is followed by a good compilation ...more
Feb 17, 2010 Cathy rated it it was amazing
This books looks at Ben Franklin through the lens of historical writings, including much of Franklin's own words. It tackles and debunks the many rumors demonizing his moral character that began by his detractors during his lifetime and persist even today. Ben Franklin was an amazing and accomplished man who spent his entire lifetime on a quest to improve humanity throughout his sphere of influence - which ended up to be quite large.
Jan 25, 2012 Patty rated it it was amazing
I finished it! Actually, this was a very well written, exceptional biography of Benjamin Franklin. (It helps that most of it is Benjamin Franklin's words themselves!) I learned a lot more about this incredible Founding Father and think that every US citizen should be required to read The American Classic Series about Franklin, Jefferson and Washington.
Jacob Hedlund
Jul 21, 2016 Jacob Hedlund rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed learning about Franklin's life. He played a much larger role in America's succession from England, winning the Revolution War, and making sure that the new government was set up in a way to be successful. We would not be where we are today without this man's wisdom.
Jan 28, 2014 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I am a history nerd, so I'm giving it 5 stars because this was super interesting and inspiring to me personally. I learned a ton and finished the book feeling inspired to better myself in so many ways.
Emily Powers
Jul 10, 2009 Emily Powers rated it it was amazing
It's so refreshing to read a biography that is cemented in scholarship and fact rather than mired in revisionism and opinion. Please see my review of The Real George Washington for further information on this series as, generally, my thoughts are the same and I'd rather not repeat myself. I did enjoy reading The Real Benjamin Franklin more than The Real George Washington simply because Franklin is a more colorful character; his humor, eccentricity, diplomacy and creativity shine brilliantly thro ...more
Apr 29, 2008 Janelle rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book to anyone with even a remote interest in American history. I have to say, I never knew the scope and depth of Franklin's life. I am almost speechless about what to say about him. I have so much regard for him after reading this book and will read it again - which is saying something.

Don't worry about it coming off too text-bookish. It will go down like a spoonful of sugar, so to speak. It is very engaging and informative, also offering differing sides to some matters of deb
Lindsay  Parker
Jun 17, 2009 Lindsay Parker rated it really liked it
Wow! THis man was amazing! He made the goal to perfect himself, and to help him accomplish that he made a list of all the characters of Christ and then put forth a full weeks focus on each. He did this for most of his life. Interesting enough, as a missionary you do the same thing as it is outlined in Preach My Gospel. He was a great man. After reading so much about Thomas Jefferson, I wondered why Benjamin Franklin was ordained a high priest and not Thomas Jefferson. I think this goal of Benjam ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Flowergarden24 rated it really liked it
Good perspective on events
Feb 18, 2008 Jane rated it it was amazing
After I read "The Real Benjamin Franklin" I thought there could be no other man who did more for the new American Republic than he. Then I read "The Real George Washington" and realized I had found a man who had equaled Franklin. After reading "The Real Thomas Jefferson" I discovered that the three of them in their own way were indispensable to our country. These books are wonderful. (Each has an alphabetical collection of quotes from the man on various subjects that occupies at least 1/3 of the ...more
Jul 07, 2011 T rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fascinating.

As I am Canadian, I never learned American history in school. This was a great read. It was well put together with sources from letters written to and from Benjamin, as well as historic facts, and snippets from old documents.

It starts at the beginning of his life, and discusses childhood, education, politics, inventions, and family life all the way to his death.

In the back 1/2, is an index of many quotes directly from Benjamin Franklin sorted by subject.
Oct 19, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing
The picture I had of Benjamin Franklin was so different than what is portrayed in this book. With writings from many friends and political associates, as well as his family's and his own words, the man is transformed from the lacivious, selfish man that other historians have given us, to a tender-hearted, generous, interested, forward-thinking, loving husband, father, friend and citizen. A wonderful book!
Apr 18, 2010 Christy rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and I love this man! There are a lot of lies about his character that are explained and proved to be false. He was thrifty, witty, ingenious, and humble; someone who is truly worthy to be set up as a role model. I loved his list of virtues he tried to emulate.

The book is divided into two parts, the second is a collection of quotes.
Mar 01, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I enjoyed reading about the life of a brilliant stateman, scientific genius, and political visionary. Franklin has so many admiraable gifts and qualities, and reading about his life inspired me to be a better person. I felt that the book could have been more thorough and am currently reading Carl Van Doren's history, which seems more comprehensive.
May 03, 2009 Joanne rated it really liked it
I have heard so many negative things about Benjamin Franklin, that I really wanted to read this and find out a little more about him. He was a man with faults like the rest of us, but he was an amazing human being. He gave so much to the cause of our freedom and I feel an enormous amount of gratitude for him and what he did for me personally.
Jun 27, 2011 Darrin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
What a great man Benjamin Franklin was. There are a lot of quotes and writings from him compiled in this book and you really get a sense of who he really was. This guy did so much for this country and was always so humble. History buffs will enjoy this biography.
Jay Miller
Oct 12, 2012 Jay Miller rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! Gives a good all around picture of the real Benjamin Franklin taken from his letters and the letters of his contemporaries both friends and enemies alike. Great book for anyone interested in the history of this great man and the country alike.
Jul 28, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
I actually haven't finished reading this yet. I had to return it to the library because it was on hold for someone else, but I'll be finishing it. It is a wonderful history about Franklin and dispels some of the rumors out there.
Sep 11, 2009 Rusty rated it it was amazing
Probably the most intelligent, hard working man in American history.

Truly fascinating and inspiring. After reading his accomplishments, I feel a bit inadequate. Oh well, I'm glad he help form our country and not me.
Sean Mcdermott
Jun 06, 2012 Sean Mcdermott rated it it was amazing
I thought the biography was 4 stars.

The QUOTES at the back, vah-VOOM 10 stars!!! Seriously, go check out "religion" and then all the entries on "charity" and "poor". Just an OCEAN of wisdom from this great Founding Father.
Bernard Doddema Jr
Feb 26, 2010 Bernard Doddema Jr rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody
Recommended to Bernard by: Glenn Beck
A simple read for one of the most intelligent men of his time. It's amazing how his thinking still pertains to this day.

The one thing I didn't know was during his last days he fought to give slaves their freedom.
Jan 16, 2010 Lydia rated it really liked it
A good biography about an amazing man. Definitely worth the read. Why not a 5? Mainly because I would like the book to have got deeper into some of his experiments, etc.. Still love the book and glad I own it.
Jul 07, 2010 Cassie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all high school kids and all adults
We just don't have people like this anymore. At least not as many all at the same time, in the same place, it seems. There are so many people I'll be happy to meet and thank someday one 'the other side'.
Jan 18, 2012 Samantha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, 2012
Like "The Real George Washington" this book was made up mostly with Benjamin Franklin's own words. I thought it was well written and researched. It was also a pleasantly short read...took me about two weeks.
Aug 13, 2010 Kim rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It was short and to the point. Franklin was an amazing man. I am so impressed with his belief in God. He was definitely a visionary man.
Feb 25, 2010 Valerie rated it it was amazing
This books was awesome. I never knew BF was so much more than a politician.
By far one of the Best Presidents we ever had the honor of having.
Apr 13, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing
A must read along with The Real George Washington and The Real Thomas Jefferson. This isfor anyone interested in America.
Apr 28, 2008 Abby marked it as to-read
Supposed to be a good book. Recommended by Glenn Beck. My son is named "Benjamin". I like learning about founding father guys.
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