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Download The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (Unabridged) Audiobook, by H. W. Brands
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,619 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: H. W. Brands Narrator: Nelson Runger Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN:
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Historian H.W. Brands' acclaimed, comprehensive biography of Ben Franklin--the first in over 60 years--made the New York Times best-seller list, was a main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, and earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

Many consider Franklin the most fascinating American man who ever lived. A scientist, businessman, diplomat, author, inventor, philosopher and politician, he is America's original Renaissance man. His remarkable and varied accomplishments include the discovery of electricity and the modernization of the postal system. Brilliant and bawdy, a master statesman and a cultural icon, Franklin was so important and popular in his day that, according to the author, ... only Washington mattered as much.

Drawing from a wealth of sources, including previously unpublished letters to and from Franklin, Brands creates an unforgettable tribute to a man for the ages.

Nelson Runger's narration highlights the incredible events and fascinating personality traits that made Franklin a legend. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colin | 2/20/2014

    " Excellent look at Franklin's life and times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dayla | 2/13/2014

    " Great book and very interesting. H. W. Brands always does a fine biography. For example, I also enjoyed his book on Theodore Roosevelt. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tyler | 2/1/2014

    " This is a worthwhile read, but it is far from a fun read. Brands doesn't spare a single detail, for better or worse. Expect to put in some work to get through this one. "

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

    " Holy crap, this guy was a bas ass. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jared Lovell | 1/27/2014

    " Great book. Paints a complete picture of Franklin that engages the reader. A bit traditional on some of its explanations for some of the contemporary events surrounding Franklin. This is typical of your mainstream court historians like Brands. But overall, a great read! I learned a ton. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Macy-beckwith | 1/18/2014

    " Quite possibly the best biography I have ever read. I literally teared up during the final chapter, not because of any maudlin sentiment or contrived drama in the st, but because of a real sense of loss at the passing of a truly extraordinary individual. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mickey | 1/17/2014

    " This was the last book that made me really want to cry. Ben Franklin was the bomb, yo. Where would we be without him? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 1/1/2014

    " I'll admit it, I didn't finish the book. Very, very informative but it's a difficult read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lucas | 12/14/2013

    " One of the best books I've read in my life! I just read it for the second time recently, and was just as impressed. Ben Franklin is my HERO!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dad | 12/7/2013

    " Excellent bio of Franklin and develops how Franklin came to the realization that he was truly an American and not British. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany | 11/26/2013

    " Very detailed description of Ben Franklin. I found myself intrigued and wanting to go back in time and hang out with him for a drink. Ben Franklin- one cool guy! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Randy | 11/16/2013

    " Great and readable study of Franklin "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shane | 10/7/2013

    " This is a great biography of one of America's premiere founders. Brand does a great job of reporting the facts of Franklin's life, without boring the reader, in fact, it was so highly interesting that if I could, I would have read it all in one sitting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristine | 3/15/2013

    " I really enjoyed it. Very well done - read like a story. Ben Rocks! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 2/7/2013

    " Interesting book and great man. I enjoyed reading about his life -- although it was not a fast read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 1/8/2013

    " Excellent history and insights into the man. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen McMillan | 1/3/2013

    " Benjamin Franklin is one of the most interesting characters to study in American History. This volume by H.W. Brands thoroughly covers the life and times of Mr. Franklin, yet doesn't bore the reader to tears. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Courtney Craig | 7/22/2012

    " This is a fascinating biography of Ben Franklin. The man led a truly inspiring life and was most certainly one of the most brilliant minds who ever lived. A must read for anyone who loves history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brett | 3/24/2012

    " Awesome, detailed biography of Benjamin Franklin from his early childhood in Boston up to his death in Philadelphia. A bit on the long side at nearly 800 pages but well worth the time. One of the most interesting biographies I have read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 12/8/2011

    " This book was well written, and I learned a great deal about colonial America. Details were abundant, and there were many direct quotes. I gave this book three starts instead of more simply because it was long. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynda | 10/28/2011

    " Well written and well researched. I enjoyed it a great deal. Did a good job of covering most of Franklin's life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chuck | 10/13/2011

    " A great portrait of Ben Franklin and the struggle to become America. It provides a great reminder of the cornerstones of this country. Some of which are getting lost. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 10/13/2011

    " I'm predisposed to like anything written on Ben Franklin and this is no exception. Well researched- sometimes exhaustively so, it adds to my understanding of a complex and amazing man. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allen G | 9/25/2011

    " How much do you know about this man. Also, how much do you know about the founding of our nation. Franklin was against the split for most of the early years, but later served an invaluable asset in France. It also debunks some of the myths about his promiscuity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 7/22/2011

    " This is such an interesting book and it's not a boring history at all it read like a novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug Hauser | 3/27/2011

    " Fantastic book. I think that H.W. Brands is one of the best writers out there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 2/26/2011

    " This biorgraphy pays special attention to Benjamin Franklin's inclinations toward philosophy and natural science in addition to his political contributions. Its scope makes it more interesting that McCullough's biographies, but it is not as well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynda | 2/7/2011

    " Well written and well researched. I enjoyed it a great deal. Did a good job of covering most of Franklin's life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Duncan | 1/7/2011

    " My most favorite book of all time. So well researched and written that I actually felt like Franklin was a close friend. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristen | 12/30/2010

    " Long and drawn out. You would think one of the more interesting people in the founding of this nation would have a more interesting biography. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louise | 12/30/2010

    " Read this book in 2008. Brutal to get through, did not make it to the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Craig | 10/28/2010

    " Well written, entertaining read, excellent research. There is much to admire in this multi-faceted personality who may have been first to perceive America's potential as an independent nation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 7/30/2010

    " This is the first book I have selected in my quest to learn more about the founding of America. I will attempt to read a biography on each President in order, plus other historical books that tie together major events. "

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About the Author

H. W. Brands is the Dickson Allen Anderson Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. A New York Times bestselling author, he was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography for The First American and again for Traitor to His Class.

About the Narrator

Nelson Runger’s voice has been recorded in dozens of audio productions. His ability to convey difficult, scholarly material with eloquence and ease has earned him critical acclaim, including an AudioFile Best Voice in Biography & History for his reading of Nixon and Kissinger.