Benjamin Franklin Biography Book Summary: An American Life

by Accessory To Success August 06, 2021

Benjamin Franklin Biography Book Summary: An American Life

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Main Takeaway

Tearing away the façade history has wrapped around the iconic Benjamin Franklin reveals a complicated man who had trouble maintaining good relationships with family members but skillfully used his knowledge and intellect to support democracy and the founding of a new Republic from a deep sense of social justice.

He valued differing opinions, the written word, the efforts of working people and scientific discovery, and it all came together in his role as a Founding Father. This is an in-depth story of how Benjamin Franklin came to be a national icon and Founding Father and the many influences that shaped a remarkable figure.

Quotes From The Book Benjamin Franklin Biography Book Summary An American Life Image 1

What You’ll Learn

  • History of Benjamin Franklin’s family and the historical backdrop that led to their arrival in colonial America
  • Experiences and studies that influenced Franklin’s thought processes and behaviors as a child and young man
  • Life’s path that led him to Philadelphia, PA as he pursued personal independence and success
  • Stories of Franklin’s career and incredible work ethic, until retiring in his 40s
  • Franklin’s many inventions
  • His journey to becoming a statesman and diplomat after retiring
  • How Franklin became involved in the colonies’ pursuit of independence from Great Britain, including his participation in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and other founding documents
  • Franklin’s roles as a statesman in making America a reality
  • The tumultuous relationships with immediate family members that do not seem to fit Franklin’s belief in virtues
  • The philosophy of Franklin concerning the distrust of elites and royalty and the power of the middle class to make and keep America a success

The Book Summary

Author Walter Isaacson was brave to write Benjamin Franklin: An American Life because there are so many biographies concerning this man that had been published. Most Americans know the name Ben Franklin and know he is a founding father of a great nation. What they may not know is Franklin as a man with a wry sense of humor, an intellect that was hid behind his cultivated image of commonality and humbleness as a middle-class member and his pursuit of “industry and frugality.” He had an endless urge to learn, experiment and fight injustices. He was a free spirit in every sense of the word. Something Jack Ma would probably relate to in his book Alibaba.
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