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Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  21 reviews
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian comes a masterful, first-of-its-kind dual biography of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, illuminating their partnership's enduring importance. 

One of Washington Post's "10 Books to Read in February"  One of USA Todays Must-Read Books" of Winter 2020    One of Publishers Weekly's "Top Ten" Spring 2020 Memoirs/Biographies

ebook, 352 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by William Morrow
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Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, overdrive
I didnt really want to read another book about the Revolutionary War and the creation of the republic. The paring of Franklin and Washington was really just a device to lure readers like me into this book, and to rehash history. The book was fine, but it wasnt what I was expecting. 3.5 stars ...more
Angie Boyter
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
3+ The publishers description of Franklin and Washington calls it a dual biography; I think this will set up the wrong expectation in a reader. The book has interesting details about Franklin and Washingtons lives, but I think it is better described as a history of the founding of our country, with an emphasis on the contributions of these two men.
Indeed, one might wonder if our country would have been founded at all without Franklin and Washington, given their central roles in so many aspects
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.
Interesting concept: The friendship and partnership of founding Americans Ben Franklin and George Washington is an overlooked and crucial piece of history.
This book is a great review of the events that transpired in and related to the American colonies from about 1750-1800. It's a helpful chronology, it brings in other key players without overwhelming the reader with too many to keep track of, and it successfully weaves in Franklin's and Washington's separate and joint contributions.
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it
It was a little dry going through all the battles of the Revolutionary War, but other than that this was a great history refresher course, as well as a really great tribute to two very incredible men.
Carl R.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty much everyone knows that Benjamin Franklin and George Washington  were prime movers and shakers both pre-and post the American revolution and that their work did as much as any human efforts to shape this country. Libraries of books have been published about both of them. Hours of instruction have been spent exploring their lives and writings. What, then, you might ask yourself, as I did myself, does the world need with still more?

Edward J. Larson  answers the question in fairly short
...more Biography & Memoir
With a critical presidential election less than nine months away, millions of Americans are looking for guidance before they cast what might be the most important vote of a lifetime. Perhaps they would be wise to turn their attention from the din of social media to American history for both reassurance and inspiration. A good starting point in their search could be Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larsons FRANKLIN & WASHINGTON: The Founding Partnership, an impressive joint survey ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: American history students
Recommended to Skjam! by: Goodreads
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway for the purpose of writing this review. No other compensation was offered or requested.

A dual biography of Benjamin Franklin (1705-1790) and George Washington (1732-1799) is, I will state right up front, is a good idea. Both men were instrumental in moving the American Colonies from loyal but disgruntled subjects of the British Crown to the United States of America, an independent country with its own constitution chosen by
Peter Goodman

Franklin and Washington: the founding partnership, by Edward J. Larson (William Morrow, 2020). For much of this book I was not impressed: Franklin and Washington spent a lot of time not knowing or later not being in contact with one another; the linkage between them seemed forced. But eventually I saw the light: Larson is saying that the two of them---not just Washington---were the essential men for the creation of the United States. This is a combination of short but astute biographies,
Phi Beta Kappa Authors
Edward J. Larson
ΦBK, Williams College, 1974


From the publisher: Theirs was a three-decade-long bond that, more than any other pairing, would forge the United States. Vastly different men, Benjamin Franklinan abolitionist freethinker from the urban northand George Washingtona slaveholding general from the agrarian southwere the indispensable authors of American independence and the two key partners in the attempt to craft a more perfect union at the Constitutional Convention, held in
Dennis Hogan
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Finished Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership by Edward J Larson. This book fills in a number of gaps in my historical knowledge of our countrys origins: specifically life in America in the 18th century prior to the revolution, the uniqueness of Franklin as a scientist, philosopher, politician, governor and more, the geopolitical aspects of the English French relationship in the 18th century America, the uncertainty in America from the victory at Yorktown until Washington became ...more
Janilyn Kocher
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Larson groups two founding fathers together in an unusual combination, Franklin and Washington. Both would become larger than life. They had simllar outlooks and convictions about the burgeoning republic. The best chapter is about the constitutional convention. However, most of the information Larson provided in the book lacks originality. Most of it has been covered in other biographies of the two. Thanks to Edelweiss and William Morrow for the advance copy.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. It covered over 30 years of their friendship. I loved the part where Franklin invented some sort of chair that had a pedal on it that once it was pumped a fan would go around. Once Washington saw it he wanted one so Franklin made one for him. The book has all kinds of interesting things in it and well worth the read.
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great stories about the lives of Franklin and Washington. I wish history was taught like this in high school! I was not familiar with many of the events described in the book and ended up reading a lot more about it later. The book is fairly short and I found the author to sometimes present a partial view. Overall it provides many accurate historical details.
David Steele
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very good look at Franklin and Washington. But I think that the case could be made that all of the Founders were partners in one way or another. The book also provides a good look at slavery in colonial America and how it really was a white man's world. Just like today.

goodreads winner
Deacon Tom  Frankenfield
3 1/2. Good book. I was a bit overwhelmed by the about of politics involved. I was looking more for a historical book.
Erin Brown
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Honestly, I am not a huge history buff and wasn't sure what I was getting into, but this was not only educational, it was interesting as well. Definitely worth reading.
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
well written but too much like being back in history class
Autumn Turner
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this look into the life and times of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.
Kathleen Youngman
Feb 27, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Felt like I was reading a term paper.
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
A timely and well written reminder that Trump is exactly what the founders foresaw/feared during the writing, compromising, and ratification phases of our Constitution. "A republic, if you can keep it." Indeed.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read, but nothing really groundbreaking. The lives of these two men are certainly interesting and the places where their lives cross are significant. Would recommend for anyone with a vague knowledge of the founders that would like to know more. Would be old news for a historian of the period.

Mark Murphy
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Feb 23, 2020
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Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian and legal scholar. He is university professor of history and holds the Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law at Pepperdine University. He was formerly Herman E. Talmadge Chair of Law and Richard B. Russell Professor of American History at the University of Georgia.

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