Franklin of Philadelphia: ,

Esmond Wright, Author Belknap Press $37 (442p) ISBN 978-0-674-31809-0
Wright's life of Benjamin Franklin is authoritative, readable and filled with a contagious fascination with the philosopher, reformer, publisher, scientist, politician and statesman deemed the greatest American of his time. Drawing on the Franklin papers at Yale, Wright, a professor at London University, examines the many, often self-contradictory aspects of this ""child of Boston, of Puritanism, and of the Enlightenment'' as he progressed, in free-spirit fashion, from successful businessman, to celebrated Anglo-American, to organizer of a revolution. Balanced and thorough, the book portrays Franklin, ``the most modern-minded'' of the Founding Fathers, as a cool, charming, stylish, inquisitive figure, who ``became the parts he played'' but held back enough to remain a bit elusive even now. This is a biography that will delight anyone interested in Franklin. Photos not seen by PW. (April 22)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
Paperback - 442 pages - 978-0-674-31810-6
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