[internetworkers] BOOKS

Rowland Smith rowland at cashi.us
Tue Sep 21 09:52:18 EDT 2004

Thomas wrote:

> Diana Duncan wrote:
>> I was talking to Rowland the other day about our enjoyment of Carl 
>> Hiaasen.  I mentioned that my favorite writer of that 
>> satire/crime/silly genre is Christopher Brookmyre, a Scottish writer 
>> who (until now) has not been available in the States.  I just 
>> checked, and you can get his books here now!  Yay!
>> Rowland also mentioned that we should occasionally post our highly 
>> recommended books to the list with some easily searchable subject 
>> line (such as the one above?).
> Great topic, Diana.  I am currently reading /The First American:  The 
> Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin/ by H.W. Brands.  It's a detailed 
> and very engaging biography.
> And so that I might have more time for reading and more money to spend 
> on books, I just picked up /Getting Things Done/ by David Allen.  It's 
> a book on getting organized.  An entry on BoingBoing.net led me to the 
> purchase.
> Too bad Champeon's not on this list anymore.  He churns through good 
> books and usually has something interesting to say about them.
I recently read "The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin" by Gordon S. 
It was a fascinating book, dealing mainly with Franklin's climb from 
poverty to gentry, and his fervent British loyalty during his youth, and 
subsequent transformation from British subject to American revolutionary.


*"From Publishers Weekly*
Eminent revolutionary historian Wood illuminates the life and times of 
perhaps our nation's most symbolic yet enigmatic forefather. Born of 
modest roots, Benjamin Franklin displayed from an early age a sharp mind 
and a literary gift, which served him as he went on to amass a small 
fortune, mostly as a printer, and to emerge as a civic leader. Wood, who 
won a Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for /The Radicalism of the American 
Revolution/, shows how Franklin's skills and charm enabled him to 
complete the remarkable transition from humble beginnings to gentlemanly 
status, occupying his later years with scientific experiments, 
philosophy and statesmanship. Wood also introduces us to Franklin the 
loyal British subject, who could scarcely conceive of a colonial 
government independent of the British, yet, in 1776, at the age of 70, 
came to play a key role in the Revolution. He secured the help of the 
French, who in turn helped ultimately to define Franklin as the 
"symbolic American." This is not a comprehensive biography. Instead, 
Wood's purpose is to supplant our common knowledge of Franklin as the 
iconic, folksy author of /Poor Richard's Almanac/ with a different, 
richer portrait, a look at how a man "not even destined to be an 
American" became, paradoxically, the "symbol of America." What emerges 
is a fascinating portrait of Franklin, not only as a forefather but as a 

> TaB
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