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History Happy Hour

Episode 99: Benjamin Franklin's Last Bet: The Favorite Founder's Divisive Death, Enduring Afterlife, and Blueprint for American Prosperity

The literature on Benjamin Franklin is vast; some of the books I would recommend to begin dipping your toes into the subject would be:  

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, Walter Isaacson Presidential scholar and CNN commentator provides a highly readable account of Franklin’s incredible life.  

A Benjamin Franklin Reader. A collection of Franklin’s writings selected by Isaacson. What I enjoyed about this collection is that the introductory essays to each piece by Isaacson do a wonderful job of explaining context, background and meaning. I found his analysis helpful before diving into Franklin’s own words.  

The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, H.W. Brands Another solid and readable account of Franklin’s life. I found it slightly broader in its coverage than Isaacson.  

Benjamin Franklin in London: The British Life of America’s Founding Father, George Goodwin For much of his life, Franklin proudly considered himself a Britain. So much so that after making his fortune, in 1757 he moved to London and remained at the center of the capital city’s life until his eventual departure in 1775. As an American living in Britain, I found this book to be very interesting and useful as I make my way around London.

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