Franklin is the founding father who winks at us. George Washington's colleagues found it hard to imagine touching the austere general on the shoulder. Jefferson and Adams are just as intimidating. But Ben Franklin seems made of flesh. He turns to us from history's stage with eyes that twinkle from behind those new-fangled spectacles. He speaks to us, through his letters and essays and autobiography, not with high-flown rhetoric but with a chattiness and wicked irony that is very contemporary. This comprehensive full-length biography deals with all aspects of Benjamin Franklin's colorful life, both private and public, and shows why he was the most important historic figure in defining America's national character and personality.During his 84-year life, Franklin was America's best scientist, inventor, publisher, business strategist, diplomat, and writer. He was also one of our most practical political thinkers. Perhaps the most interesting thing that Franklin invented, and reinvented over and over, was himself. America's first great publicist, he was, in his life and in his writings, consciously trying to create a new American archetype. In the process, he carefully crafted his own persona, portrayed it in public, and polished it for posterity.This is also a history of the run-up to the Revolutionary War as seen from the Colonies and from England and France, where Franklin first sought to preserve the union with England When that objective became impossible, he fought to secure France's support. This audioook offers a full portrait of Franklin's intriguing life.