Benjamin Franklin, American Genius: His Life and Ideas, with 21 Activities
Brandon Marie Miller
Chicago Review Press, 2009 (2009)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Deb Kincaid
ast out any preconceptions you may have about yet another book on Benjamin Franklin: this one is enthralling. After running away at age seventeen, Franklin wound up in England. On returning to America, he published the
, which he attempted to keep neutral during the intense times before the rebellion of the colonies against England. Thus begins a story so masterfully woven by author Brandon Marie Miller that I couldn't put it down.
f you're familiar only with sanitized accounts of Franklin's life, you'll be surprised to know that he enjoyed parties and women as much as any man. Nevertheless, on a trip back to America from Europe at the age of twenty, he penned a
Plan for Future Conduct
and resolved to live frugally and rationally, and speak truthfully. He went on to marry Deborah Read, by whom he had a son who died and a daughter named Sally. Franklin also had another son, William, by a woman not his wife but who was raised by Deborah as well.
iller paints a rich, textured portrait of Franklin, from his birth in 1706 to his death in 1790 at the age of eighty-four. Her book is full up with historical detail and information from journals, letters and diaries, but never does she bog down the story. She reveals Franklin to be a man of high morals, driven to do what was in the best interests of others, but a man who was also human and flawed.
highly recommend this book. (In fact, the entire series is outstanding.) Teachers especially will appreciate the instructions for twenty-one related activities that enhance the historical account.
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