Benjamin Franklin – "An American Life" by Walter Isaacson: Book Review

Essay by amberb617High School, 11th gradeA-, November 2007

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How often do you use the U.S. Postal Service to mail a letter, or borrow a book from the library because you need to write research paper? Do you use electricity on an everyday basis? Well this is all possible thanks ingenuity of one man whose name was Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin - An American Life by Walter Isaacson does not cease to remind the reader of all the marvelous contributions that Benjamin Franklin has made to society. Before reading the biography, I thought of Franklin as a small, chubby man that had a knack for politics and science but a shallow personality. Isaacson approaches the character of Franklin with such insight and description that I feel as if I personally know this historical figure.

Isaacson does not mock Franklin; instead he exposes his tragedies and triumphs. He focuses on his personal life and enthralls the reader by adding excerpts of letters from Franklin's correspondences.

The author disposes of rumors that may have been made about Franklin, which were amusing in their entirety.

Isaacson writes of Franklin's previous outlooks towards the revolution. At first, Franklin supported the view of the British believing that America and Brittan were meant to be ruled jointly. Later on he changes his views and supports the fight for independence and rebellion. Franklin believed that the 13 colonies should merge as one in place of continuing to work as individual colonies that each have their own sets of rules and policies. He writes of how Franklin was not always for the fight of independence and how he came about completely switching his views towards the British rule. For a majority of Franklin's life, he felt as if he was a faithful citizen until he learned of many of the negative outcomes that come with still being...