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The Real Benjamin Franklin

The Real Benjamin Franklin

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The Real Benjamin Franklin: The True Story of America's Greatest Diplomat
Andrew A. Allison
Softcover, 504 pages

There are many Benjamin Franklins. Or at least he has taken on many different forms in the history books and conversations 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 pictured a chuckling prankster who couldn t resist a funny story. More recently, a certain brand of biographers and journalists have conjured up sensational tales of a lecherous old diplomat in his seventies who enjoyed illicit affairs with adoring young French women. And a few years ago Franklin even reappeared as a British spy! Some of these myths are now being repeated and embellished in school textbooks and educational television programs.

Which of all these Benjamin Franklins, if any, is real? This book is an attempt to answer that question. Or, more accurately, it is an attempt to let Franklin himself provide the answer. The Real Benjamin Franklin makes no effort to develop another fresh interpretation of the Sage of Philadelphia. Instead, it seats us across the table from the one person who really knew Benjamin Franklin- -that is, Franklin himself- -and gives him an opportunity to explain his life and ideas in his own words. Part I of this book details his exciting biography, and Part II includes his most important and insightful writings. In both sections, Franklin's words are carefully documented from original sources.

The AMERICAN CLASSIC SERIES is designed to revive an intelligent appreciation of the Founders and the remarkable system of free government which they gave us. The nation these men built is now in the throes of a political, economic, social, and spiritual crisis that has driven many to an almost frantic search for modern solutions. The truth is that the solutions have been available for a long time- -in fact, for nearly two hundred years- -in the writings of our Founding Fathers!