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August 22 , 2007

The Life of Benjamin Franklin, Volume 3

Soldier, Scientist, and Politician, 1748-1757


Described as "a harmonious human multitude," Ben Franklin's life and careers were so varied and successful that he remains, even today, the epitome of the self-made man. Born into a humble tradesman's family, this adaptable genius rose to become an architect of the world's first democracy, a leading light in Enlightenment science, and a major creator of what has come to be known as the American character. Journalist, musician, politician, scientist, humorist, inventor, civic leader, printer, writer, publisher, businessman, founding father, philosopher—a genius in all fields and a bit of a magician in some.

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Volume 3 begins in the year 1748, when Franklin was known in Pennsylvania as clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly and in the Middle Colonies as the printer and editor of Poor Richard's Almanac and the Pennsylvania Gazette, the best-known colonial publications. By the middle of 1757, where this volume leaves off, he had become famous in Pennsylvania as a public-spirited citizen and soldier in the conflicts of the Seven Years' War; well known throughout America as a writer, politician, and the most important theorist and patriot of the American empire; and renowned in the western world as a natural philosopher. This volume tells the story of that transformation.

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