All about Benjamin
Every aspect of Benjamin Franklin's extraordinary life is explored in 10 probing and beautiful essays, rich with their contributors' fine historical and social perspective. The text is enhanced with nearly 300 photos and reproductions of artifacts and art (many of which have never before been on public display) from Franklin's times, his home and his printing press. Memorably moving is a photograph of the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, which bears evidence of Franklin's legendary edits.
The contributors, all prominent scholars (two of them currently work with the Library Company of Philadelphia, the literary lending institution founded by Franklin), thoughtfully and realistically examine the daily life, travails, business activities and public and private exploits of this often wily, but virtuous man.
Especially intriguing are the writings on Franklin's domestic life, his sojourn as a diplomat in France, and one essayist's ruminations on him as slave owner and dubious abolitionist.
Though Franklin is viewed by some historians as a reluctant revolutionary who sought to avoid colonial conflict with Britain, this book reveals the admirable, but not always successful, pragmatic efforts consistently applied by Franklin to his endeavors, and poses the idea that his vision remains unfulfilled, itself a challenge to Americans who still search for a better world.