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Extended Audio Sample The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin Audiobook, by Gordon S. Wood Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,375 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gordon S. Wood Narrator: Peter Johnson Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2004 ISBN: 9781598873238
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The stove, the bifocals, the kite-flying, the diplomacy: these factoids barely scratch the surface of Franklin. This groundbreaking study by a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian investigates the man, the myth, and the roots of American character. Audie Awar Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Wood] possesses as profound a grasp of the early days of the Republic as anyone now working.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Exceptionally rich perspective on one of the most accomplished, complex, and unpredictable Americans of his own time or any other.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “An illuminating, accessible, and entertaining contribution to the growing literature about Benjamin Franklin.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Well written and researched, this book provides a fresh perspective on one of America’s most distinguished figures.”

    Library Journal

  • “[Gordon Wood] conveys complex ideas in beguilingly simple prose, and deftly weaves the connections between the different Franklins.”

    New York Review of Books

  • One of the 2004 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • A 2005 Audie Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 bert-bobbi | 2/16/2014

    " This is a good biography of Franklin, focusing not on the standard bio details, but rather on his impact to America, Britain and France, and the resultant opinions by various factions about Franklin himself. Provides much insight into a larger-than-life key figure in American history, in a writing style for the lay person who isn't a historian. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 1/29/2014

    " Franklin began as a loyal British subject and ended up an American. This book shows how this happened. Very easy to read and full of interesting facts about Franklin., "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Audrie | 1/18/2014

    " Some times the most ardent supporter of a causee is the last to join. Franklin was a very loyal subject of the king until he was disillusioned by the monarchy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brad | 12/13/2013

    " Great book! If you are interested in the life of Benjamin Franklin, this is a great starting point. It is not the typical blow-by-blow biography on the life of Franklin. Instead, the author shows how Franklin evolved over time to become a die-hard American patriot. Also, author Gordon Wood is considered by many to be the premiere historian of early America. I tend to agree with that assertion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen Drake | 12/13/2013

    " As many biographers have noted, Franklin the man is hard to know. That's remarkable, since he probably left more correspondence, publications, etc. than any of the other founding fathers. Wood makes a good attempt at trying to understand the man underneath the impressive list of accomplishments, discoveries, inventions and publications. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gregory | 12/12/2013

    " I grew up in Jersey, very close the Philly so Ben Franklin was one of those big historical figures that loomed large in my childhood. This book was suggested to me by my future brother-in-law (who's about to get his PhD in History). I loved it...it cuts through the years that have made Franklin into this symbolic image of America and gets to the heart of his character, which is just as interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 12/9/2013

    " I have enormous respect for Gordon Wood. I'd have to re-read this to ascertain my pseudo-reasons for withholding that much-coveted stamp of consummate quality, the fifth star. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bethany | 12/4/2013

    " This was an easy read, but it didn't inspire real interest in the subject. The author, although presenting a strong thesis, did not fully prove his argument that Franklin was the embodiment of early American capitalism. All in all, an enjoyable read for someone interested in Franklin. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 12/3/2013

    " Intimate look into the life of Mr. Ben, warts and all...and he had a lot of warts. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laseghi2 | 11/30/2013

    " I could barely finish this book. Unfortunately, Gordon Wood falls in the category of boring historian authors. Though Wood is a world-renowned authority on theAmerican Revolution, I'd much rather read Joseph J. Ellis or Jon Meachem. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 11/11/2013

    " Ben was a hero of mine. It made him seem so real. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 7/22/2013

    " Possibly one of my favorite books that I've read this year. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ted Ryan | 7/15/2013

    " This book shed some light on Franklin's life I did not know, has added considerably to my reading list by way of its referenced material. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie Palmer | 5/27/2013

    " What a great read....I loved learning about the complexities of Franklin's character, his hard-working attitude, and his ties to Britian and Loyalists before he turned to being a Patriot. He was not a perfect man, as nobody is, but he certianly remains a hero in many ways. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maya | 9/29/2012

    " Recommended for history fans who are interested in learning about the founding of the US as well as the manipulation of history. A very interesting read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ted Haussman | 8/17/2012

    " Outstanding book which really examines the sea changes which occurred in Franklin and his allegiances over his lifetime. A wonderful protrait of this distinguished and oft-misunderstood patriot. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brian Croup | 6/7/2012

    " Painfully dry. Probably even worse than a textbook. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna Stuedeman | 5/16/2012

    " I'm not typically big on biographies, but this was enjoyable since it was not a standard chronology of his life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Theresa | 5/9/2012

    " For anyone interested in the Founding Fathers, this is a particularly thoughtful biography. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Oldesq | 5/19/2011

    " Gordon Wood explains some of the American antipathy against Franklin at his death and the meaning behind his French appeal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 12/23/2010

    " It does a pretty good job at stripping away the myth around the man. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 James | 12/15/2010

    " Didn't capture the passion of B. Franklin. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brian | 10/27/2010

    " Painfully dry. Probably even worse than a textbook. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 9/11/2010

    " Ben was a hero of mine. It made him seem so real. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kb | 7/27/2010

    " This was an interesting read. I thought Mr. Wood did a convincing job presenting this thesis about the development of both America and Benjamin Franklin. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie | 7/10/2010

    " What a great read....I loved learning about the complexities of Franklin's character, his hard-working attitude, and his ties to Britian and Loyalists before he turned to being a Patriot. He was not a perfect man, as nobody is, but he certianly remains a hero in many ways. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 3/8/2010

    " Franklin began as a loyal British subject and ended up an American. This book shows how this happened. Very easy to read and full of interesting facts about Franklin., "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nate | 1/4/2009

    " Really enjoyable way to present Franklin, not a biography per se, but more interesting and just as informative. I learned a great deal and Wood's ideas also inspired a great deal of thinking. "

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About the Author
Author Gordon S. Wood

Gordon S. Wood is the Alva O. Way University Professor and professor of history at Brown University. His 1969 book, The Creation of the American Republic 1776–1787, received the Bancroft and John H. Dunning prizes and was nominated for the National Book Award. His 1992 book, The Radicalism of the American Revolution, won the Pulitzer Prize and the Emerson Prize. Wood contributes regularly to the New Republic and the New York Review of Books.