"Benjamin Franklin - An American Life" by Walter Isaacson

At first thought, it was "oh no…here we go again…another long-winded

biography of an American hero." But after what was meant to be a quick glimpse turned into a full-fledged absorption of the book, it was obvious that Walter Isaacson could not have chosen one of the most, if not the most, interesting, dynamic, and influential characters of American History to reinvent, once again. "Benjamin Franklin - An American Life."

Predictably, Isaacson goes into a great deal of detail regarding Ben Franklin's accomplishments during his 84 year tenure on planet Earth. Scientist…inventor…diplomat…writer...business strategist…his disdain for class warfare and his practiced values of rising through hard work. He reached out and respected the 'common man', and did everything in his power to include them in every aspect of the social, state, and federal infra-structure. But Isaacson expends an almost equal amount of energy presenting the very human side of Benjamin Franklin. The side that most of us can better relate to. How Franklin 'outgrew' his wife…his relationship with his illegitimate son William, his intense relationships with younger women in the Colonies as well as in Europe…all the things that remind the 'common man' that, no matter their public persona, nobody is perfect. A lesson well-heeded in today's increasingly materialistic day and age.

There's no question that Benjamin Franklin was an extraordinary visionary and positively influential figure in our history as a great nation. He knew what was good for the people, and he knew what was good for the country, and he did his absolute best in helping to build that foundation. This book plays testament to that fact. It's just a shame his image and visions that he spent a lifetime setting up for the future seem to have been so distorted by our past.

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