Author: Gordon S. Wood
Total Pages: 324
“I cannot remember ever reading a work of history and biography that is quite so fluent, so perfectly composed and balanced . . .” —The New York Sun “Exceptionally rich perspective on one of the most accomplished, complex, and unpredictable Americans of his own time or any other.” —The Washington Post Book World From the most respected chronicler of the early days of the Republic—and winner of both the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes—comes a landmark work that rescues Benjamin Franklin from a mythology that has blinded generations of Americans to the man he really was and makes sense of aspects of his life and career that would have otherwise remained mysterious. In place of the genial polymath, self-improver, and quintessential American, Gordon S. Wood reveals a figure much more ambiguous and complex—and much more interesting. Charting the passage of Franklin’s life and reputation from relative popular indifference (his death, while the occasion for mass mourning in France, was widely ignored in America) to posthumous glory, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin sheds invaluable light on the emergence of our country’s idea of itself.