Emily's Reviews > Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson
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Nov 08, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2008
Read in October, 2008

My father recommended this to me, which seems appropriate because when I think of Franklin, I think of going to my father's office as an elementary-school student to type up a report about him on a computer. Franklin's life unfolded like a series of chapters, usually separated by geography, and the book is organized accordingly, with each chapter divided into brief sections covering certain events or projects--this makes for excellent subway reading. Isaacson reveals Franklin's foibles without being too sophisticated to call him a great man. He devotes more than half of the book to Franklin's life before the Revolutionary War, which is fresher material and also serves to show just how much older and more traveled he was than the other founding fathers. Above all, Isaacson does a good job of identifying, through Franklin, a quintessentially American character that we can observe threaded through history and in ourselves. In this strident political season, it makes for uplifting reading.
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