Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us -- an ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings. In bestselling author Walter Isaacson's vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why Franklin turns to us from history's stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new-fangled spectacles. In Benjamin Franklin, Isaacson shows how Franklin defines both his own time and ours. The most interesting thing that Franklin invented, and continually reinvented, was himself. America's first great publicist, he was 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. His guiding principle was a "dislike of everything that tended to debase the spirit of the common people." Few of his fellow founders felt this comfort with democracy so fully, and none so intuitively. In this colorful and intimate narrative, Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklin's amazing life, from his days as a runaway printer to his triumphs as a statesman, scientist, and Founding Father. He chronicles Franklin's tumultuous relationship with his illegitimate son and grandson, his practical marriage, and his flirtations with the ladies of Paris. He also shows how Franklin helped to create the American character and why he has a particular resonance in the twenty-first century.
Walter Isaacson is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, DC. He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of Time Magazine. In 2011 he wrote a biography titled “Steve Jobs”, which was based off on over forty interviews with Jobs over a two-year period up until shortly before his death. It became an international best-seller, breaking all records for sales of a biography.
Isaacson was born on May 20, 1952, in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at “The Sunday Times” of London and then the New Orleans “Times-Picayune”. He joined “Times” in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor, and editor of digital media before becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 1996. He became chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003.
Along with “Steve Jobs”, Isaacson has published several other books, including: “Einstein: His Life and Universe” (2007), “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” (2003) and Kissinger: A Biography” (1992), as well as coauthor of “The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made” (1986). His most recent book, “The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution” (2014) is a biographical tale of the people who invented the computer, Internet and the other great innovations of the digital age. It became a New York Times bestseller.
Isaacson has been awarded many accolades of the years, including in 2012, when he was selected as one of the Time 100, the magazine’s list of the most influential people in the world.