The Political Trial of Benjamin Franklin

The Political Trial of Benjamin Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin, it seems, was a reluctant revolutionary. In tracing the course of his political transformation, this book will explore the social and political understandings and misunderstandings that both sustained and divided Britain and its colonies in North America. At the center of the story is Benjamin Franklin's decision in late 1772 to use a cache of personal letters that had fallen in his lap in London for revelation in Massachusetts - essentially a Wikileaks for 1772 - and the consequences of that decision for himself and for the cause of an amicable settlement of differences between the colonies and the British government. The personal side of Franklin's life in London is explored fully enough for the reader to appreciate both his strong attachment to the place and the inevitable sense of loss from which he reluctantly retreated in the spring of 1775 upon his departure from Britain and return to Philadelphia. In the tradition of narrative history, this book combines two main stories, each one complementing the other. Woven into the chronological and social history is a tale with an air of genuine suspense and mystery about it, revolving around Franklin's publication of private correspondence with political ramifications. The qleakq was a shock to all, and had consequences for the prospect of avoiding a deeper rift with Britain, a cause Franklin pursued with increasing frustration in the last few years before the American Revolution. There are notable editorial innovations in the book. The appendices contain full transcripts of significant documents of the time (a first) as well as a thorough exploration of the mystery over the identity of Franklin's source for the Hutchinson letters. A practical 'time-line' is included showing major correlative events.This work will fill a partial void in the late colonial period in American history and will deepen our understanding of the role of the American with the most extensive experience of British political and cultural sensibilities of the time.reveals more about Lee than Franklin, given the otherwise known facts of the relationship. ... If others appeared to see a problem with his multiplicity of roles before he did, it is part of the strength of the man that Franklin did not lose confidence in ... It is easy to dismiss the comment as bravado or face-saving rationalization.

Title:The Political Trial of Benjamin Franklin
Author: Kenneth Lawing Penegar
Publisher:Algora Publishing - 2011-01-01

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