Atlantic Cousins: Benjamin Franklin and His Visionary Friends

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Thunder's Mouth Press, 2005 - 404 pages
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Ben Franklin was at the heart of the Enlightenment. He drew to him some of the greatest minds of that time, people who remain among the most intriguing in history—Americans, Englishmen, and Frenchmen whose ideas continue to shape how we live to this day. Through engaging anecdotes and short histories, Atlantic Cousins includes intimate portraits of Franklin and Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Voltaire, the Marquis de Condorcet, Georges-Jacques Danton, Camille Desmoulins—and their arch-enemy, William Cobbett, an unrelenting monarchist and anglophile. Plenty of illustrations and maps complement the material.

Aside from the colorful personalities, author Jack Fruchtman documents developments from Thomas Paine's smokeless candles to the founding of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Virginia; the debate that led to the Declaration of Independence; the abolitionist movement both in America and abroad; and Paine's Rights of Man. Atlantic Cousins shows just how Ben Franklin and his circle of friends shaped this unique and remarkable period in history.

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User Review  - wagner.sarah35 - LibraryThing

This book is less about Benjamin Franklin and more about the thinkers and themes which surrounded the remarkable American. I appreciated the inclusion of figures such as Marat, who I didn't really ... Read full review

Atlantic Cousins: Benjamin Franklin and His Visionary Friends

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Fruchtman (political science, Towson Univ.; Thomas Paine: Apostle of Freedom ) has written a readable volume made up of lively portraits of 11 intellectual "cousins" with whom Benjamin Franklin ... Read full review

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