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Download Stealing God’s Thunder: Benjamin Franklin’s Lightning Rod and the Invention of America Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Stealing God’s Thunder: Benjamin Franklin’s Lightning Rod and the Invention of America Audiobook, by Philip Dray Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (71 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Philip Dray Narrator: David Chandler Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2005 ISBN: 9781436147101
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Award-winning author Philip Dray delves into the lesser-known side of an American icon in Stealing God’s Thunder. Benjamin Franklin, more often viewed as a statesman and founding father than as a man of science, challenged religion, science, and reason with his inventions. But in a time when everything was blamed on sin, it was the lightning rod—Franklin’s attempt to control the heavens—that caused the greatest controversy. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Absorbing…There are other Franklins—the entrepreneur, the diplomat, the statesman, the architect of independence—but in Franklin the scientist, Mr. Dray may have found the happiest one of all.”

    New York Times

  • “A masterful glimpse of…Franklin’s work [and] a captivating cultural history of Franklin’s America.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Delightful…Dray offers a survey of Ben Franklin’s scientific career, describing both the ridicule and glory that his experiments inspired.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “[An] illuminating study…elegantly written.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “The best study of Franklin as a scientist ever written.”

    Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Founding Brothers

  • “Philip Dray capture the genius and ingenuity of Franklin’s scientific thinking and then does something even more fascinating: he shows how science shaped his diplomacy, politics, and Enlightenment philosophy.”

    Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

  • “Philip Dray has coaxed the familiar toward new dimensions and has succeeded in making the complex entirely, enthrallingly clear. This is a wise and lucid book, vastly informative, and a pleasure to read.”

    Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl | 11/28/2012

    " Interesting study of Franklin's life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 9/18/2012

    " Excellent. Just what I like from my scientist biographies -- a picture of the culture in which the discovery grew, and why it was so revolutionary to the thinking of the time. Strongly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 3/23/2012

    " Not quite a biography of Ben Franklin, more a perspective on the 18th Century, the Enlightenment and the role Franklin played in ending the era of superstition and ignorance. Well worth reading, especially if you never quite got why the invention of the lightning rod was such a big deal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 2/8/2012

    " This book focused on Benjamin Franklin's contributions to the world of science, rather than politics. It was fascinating to me to learn just how much medieval notions of how nature worked dominated the world as late as the 1700's. He helped the world overcome superstitions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott Meyer | 11/30/2011

    " Great book about some of the early findings on how Ben Franlin helped launch the electronic age. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 5/4/2011

    " Impressively thorough historical review of labor relations. The book loses focus a bit around the 1960's, however. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 3/14/2011

    " An extensive history of labor in America. Well researched. Provides the stories you don't hear in school about the birth and development of the country. Government have always been joined at the hip (which this book shows). The difference in modern history is that they try and hide it more "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andy | 12/9/2010

    " I really wanted to like this book, great subject matter, etc. but it just didn't grab me. The writing style did not flow, it was dense with information, but also seemed to skip jump around without rhyme or reason. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandeep | 11/15/2010

    " Well-written, engaging history of the American labor movement. Highly recommend it, especially to those who buy the right-wing/neoliberal view that unions are the bane of the American economy today. "

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About the Narrator

David Chandler is an audiobook narrator who has read numerous titles for William Kent Krueger and C. J. Box, among others.