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Atlantic Cousins: Benjamin Franklin and His Visionary Friends

de Jack Fruchtman Jr.

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Ben Franklin was at the heart of the Enlightenment. He drew to him some of the greatest minds of that time, people who remain among the most intriguing in history -- Americans, Englishmen, and Frenchmen whose ideas continue to shape how we live. Through engaging anecdotes and short histories, Atlantic Cousins includes intimate portraits of Franklin and Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Voltaire, the Marquis de Condorcet, Georges-Jacques Danton, Camille Desmoulins -- and their arch-enemy, William Cobbett, an unrelenting monarchist and anglophile. Aside from the colorful personalities, author Jack Fruchtman documents developments from Thomas Paine's smokeless candles to the founding of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Virginia; the debate that led to the Declaration of Independence; the abolitionist movement both in America and abroad; and Paine's Rights of Man. Atlantic Cousins contains numerous illustrations and maps that complement the material, and shows just how Ben Franklin and his circle of friends shaped this unique and remarkable period in history.… (més)
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More than anything else, this book consists of short potted biographies of various figures connected in greater or lesser degree to Franklin, from Paine and Priestley to Price and Marat. There's a bit of connective tissue, but not a great deal of it. ( )
  JBD1 | Jul 1, 2024 |
This book is less about Benjamin Franklin and more about the thinkers and themes which surrounded the remarkable American. I appreciated the inclusion of figures such as Marat, who I didn't really associate with Franklin, but the two definitely corresponded and knew each other. Additionally, this book makes for interesting reading about the themes of the 18th century - scientific as well as political - and detailing how different figures thought about the issues of their day and the solutions they proposed. Overall, fascinating reading centered around one of the most prominent figures in the American Revolution. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Dec 26, 2020 |
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Ben Franklin was at the heart of the Enlightenment. He drew to him some of the greatest minds of that time, people who remain among the most intriguing in history -- Americans, Englishmen, and Frenchmen whose ideas continue to shape how we live. Through engaging anecdotes and short histories, Atlantic Cousins includes intimate portraits of Franklin and Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Voltaire, the Marquis de Condorcet, Georges-Jacques Danton, Camille Desmoulins -- and their arch-enemy, William Cobbett, an unrelenting monarchist and anglophile. Aside from the colorful personalities, author Jack Fruchtman documents developments from Thomas Paine's smokeless candles to the founding of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Virginia; the debate that led to the Declaration of Independence; the abolitionist movement both in America and abroad; and Paine's Rights of Man. Atlantic Cousins contains numerous illustrations and maps that complement the material, and shows just how Ben Franklin and his circle of friends shaped this unique and remarkable period in history.

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