Benjamin Franklin, Politician: The Mask and the Man (Hardcover)

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Benjamin Franklin was a man of genius and enormous ego, smart enough not to flaunt his superiority but to let others proclaim it. To understand him and his role in great events, one must realize the omnipresence of this ego, and the extent to which he mirrored the feelings of other colonial Pennsylvanians. With this in mind, Francis Jennings sets forth some new ideas about Franklin as the "first American". In so doing, he provides a new view of the beginnings of the American Revolution in Franklin's struggle against Thomas Penn. By striving against Penn's feudal lordship (and therefore against King George) Franklin became master of the Pennsylvania assembly. It was in this role that he suggested a meeting of the Continental Congress which, as Jennings notes, flies in the face of historical opinion which suggests that Boston patriots had to drag Pennsylvanians into the revolution. Franklin's autobiography omits discussion of his heroic struggle against Penn and, in so doing, robs history of his true role in the making of the new country. It is through an accurate accounting of what Franklin did, not what he said he did in his autobiography (which Jennings likens to a campaign speech), that we understand the author's use of the term "first American".

Specifications

Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Mfg Part# 9780393039832
SKU 30057134
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0393039838
Release Date 4/10/2007
Physical
Dimensions (in Inches) 9H x 5L x 1T
Praise
"A revisionist look at Franklin, focusing on his long struggle against the power of the Penn family and his evolution into one of the nation's first revolutionaries....A fine portrait of the political side of 'the first American.'"
"It has always seemed to me that Franklin...was a deeply unpleasant humbug....it is therefore gratifying to find this hunch confirmed by a one-time admirer; indeed Jennings does not let go of his admiration even when he unearths evidence that confutes it."
From the Publisher
Annotation Francis Jennings examines Franklin's influence on the course of the revolutionarymovement in colonial America.
Editors Note Benjamin Franklin was a man of genius and enormous ego, smart enough not to flaunt his superiority but to let others proclaim it. To understand him and his role in great events, one must realize the omnipresence of this ego, and the extent to which he mirrored the feelings of other colonial Pennsylvanians. With this in mind, Francis Jennings sets forth some new ideas about Franklin as the "first American." In so doing, he provides a new view of the beginnings of the American Revolution in Franklin's struggle against William Penn. By striving against Penn's feudal lordship (and therefore against King George) Franklin became master of the Pennsylvaniaassembly. It was in this role that he suggested a meeting of the Continental Congress which, as Jennings notes, flies in the face of historical opinion which suggests that Boston patriots had to drag Pennsylvanians into the revolution.Franklin's autobiography omits discussion of his heroic struggle against Penn and, in so doing, robs history of his true role in the making of the new country. It is through an accurate accounting of what Franklin did, not what he said he did in his autobiography (which Jennings likens to a campaign speech), that we understand the author's use of the term "first American."
Editors Note 2 Provides a new view of the beginnings of the American Revolution in Franklin's struggle against Thomas Penn's feudal lordship
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0244
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company

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