• Benjamin Franklin

  • An American Life
  • By: Walter Isaacson
  • Narrated by: Boyd Gaines
  • Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 07-18-03
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (1,034 ratings)

Regular price: $21.27

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Publisher's Summary

In best selling author Walter Isaacson's vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why Franklin turns to us from history's stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new-fangled spectacles. In Benjamin Franklin, Isaacson shows how Franklin defines both his own time and ours. The most interesting thing that Franklin invented, and continually reinvented, was himself. America's first great publicist, he was consciously trying to create a new American archetype. In the process, he carefully crafted his own persona, portrayed it in public, and polished it for posterity. His guiding principle was a "dislike of everything that tended to debase the spirit of the common people." Few of his fellow founders felt this comfort with democracy so fully, and none so intuitively.
In this colorful and intimate narrative, Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklin's amazing life, from his days as a runaway printer to his triumphs as a statesman, scientist, and Founding Father. He chronicles Franklin's tumultuous relationship with his illegitimate son and grandson, his practical marriage, and his flirtations with the ladies of Paris. He also shows how Franklin helped to create the American character and why he has a particular resonance in the twenty-first century.
©2003 Walter Isaacson (P)2003 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Benjamin Franklin catalogs the extraordinary range of its subject's accomplishments, which remain unrivaled in their variety and utility." (The New York Times)
"Isaacson has crafted a wonderfully written biography, and his treatment of Franklin's youth and rise to prominence is insightful and imaginative" (The Washington Post)
"The abridgment is seamless, the text runs the gamut...from brilliant to ordinary."(AudioFile)
"Blessed with one of the most polished and easy-to-absorb voices in the audio business, reader Boyd Gaines does an outstanding job with Walter Isaacson's excellent biography of perhaps the most appealing of the Founding Fathers..." (USA Today)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Douglas on 04-09-05

suffers from abridgement

this 6hr audiobook is devoid of the necessary detail to bring it to life. it would have probably been 20+ hours unabridged. better to enjoy 6hrs of any other unabridged book to settle for this.

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18 of 19 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Craig Bell on 08-20-03

Interesting info - enjoyable listening

I am disappointed that others didn't value this as highly as I did. After listening to the Adams biography, the counterpoint offered in Franklin, allows the reader to understand both points of view. It is providential that Franklin was around whenever the topic or future of the United States was discussed. I truly enjoyed the listening and would recommend it to all who have read "John Adams" or "Founding Brothers."

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44 of 48 people found this review helpful

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