Henry William Brands was born 7 August 1953 in Portland Oregon. Brands lived in Oregon until he went to college in California; there he attended Stanford university and studied History as well as Mathematics. After traveling the nation being a salesman, he taught History and Mathematics at both the high school and college levels for nine years. In the meantime, Brands earned his Graduate degrees In History and Mathematics, and then concluded with a Doctorate in History at the university of Texas in Austin.
Afterwards he worked as an oral historian at the University of Texas Law School for only one year. Then he became a vaulting professor of History at Vanderbilt University. In 1987, he Joined Texas A&M university’s History faculty, where he taught for seventeen years. Brands has written twenty books and has also coauthored or edited five different volumes. Some of his articles have appeared in; The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, Atlantic Monthly, The Smithsonian, The National Interest, The American Historical Review, The
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Journal of American History, The Political Science Quarterly, American History, and many other newspapers, magazines and journals. Brands’ biography of Franklin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angles Times Prize, as well as a New York Times bestseller. In addition to all of his writing awards and skills he Is a member of a great deal of highly respected societies including the Society of American Historians and the Philosophical Society of Texas. He is also a regular guest on many different national television and radio programs. HIS writings have also been published In six efferent languages.
Brands who is one of the most respected men in America, is a well suited person to write about Benjamin Franklins life. Brands has more views towards a Democrat side of Issues. Brands himself wrote an article called “President Obama could learn from FED and Reagan. ” FED was a Democratic himself, and Ronald Reagan was a Democrat at one point in his life. Brands has had lunch with President Obama himself. He describe Obama as a good listener, and Instead of dominating the conversation at the meal, the president paid attention to what other people had to say. Franklin was noted to have an
Independent view on politics. Not really being on either side. The biography Is extremely complimentary to Benjamin Franklin. Throughout the biography it describes how Franklin was an amazing character, and how to really live like an American. Franklins life started with not much to his name, to becoming an image of what a human should be like. The author states Franklin had Incredible self-confidence. During Franklins winter of 1724, now twenty-five, he started creating a new group of friends, acquaintances, and even some admirers who would boost his confidence up to new levels.
Franklins poise had grown since his arrival in Philadelphia. Having measured himself against the printers of a second city, he appreciated his skills more than ever. With Franklins time there, he discovered that he could make his way in the world. His native Intelligence and common sense aided him extremely well. Franklin was one of the most influential people in American history. Franklin was born into poverty, and by the time he died he became one of the most important and influential people not Just in America but in the world.
Franklin flourished during hard times; he also loved to be challenged. Throughout his life Franklin was tested with many different challenges, such as; poverty, restarting his life, and creating American documents. Franklins way of driving through challenges when they came forth is a main reason why he became so successful. These tests allowed Franklin to become a person for people to look up too. He was the first person to take on the world as well as its problems, and then showed he truly was the first American.
Brands believes all Americans should mirror or follow Franklins life, “Franklins story is a story off man- an exceedingly gifted man and a most engaging one. It is also the story of the birth of America??an America this man discovered in himself, and then helped create in the world at large. ” In this biography Brands writes, using some of Franklins own words, the compelling story of Franklins life. Franklin was born into a poor, yet well-respected, family in Boston. Josiah Franklin and his mother, Josiah second wife, Bah Folder were His parents. As Franklin grew up, he became an apprentice to his brother James Franklin.
While training with James, Franklin would spend the majority of his free time with poetry and practicing Socratic argument strategies. Franklins self- motivation to improve his ability to argue and willingness to challenge authority would help characterize him to mold America today. James’ overbearing personality proved too much for Franklin, and he ran away to his new home in Philadelphia. There Franklin found work as a printer. Making enough money Franklin went to London, where he met a merchant named Thomas Dunham; who would become a farther figure to him.
The two would eventually open a merchant business together. In 1727 Thomas died; his death freed Franklin of his debt, but left him without a easiness partner. This situation showed Franklins ideas of virtue are necessary, and make the best off bad life situation. In 1727 Franklin created the intellectual group The Junta. Junta was a group of men who would discuss politics, religions, and philosophical questions. Franklin himself was not a believer of organized religion; instead he believed good work and morals was ahead of any religion.
In 1730 he met and then later wed Deborah Read. In 1744 the Philosophical Society was established in Philadelphia; this public organization would greatly influence Franklin. It had mom of the most intellectual people in the world involved in its group. Franklin loved the idea of having people of such intelligence in the same place, and used this to excite his own mind. In the sass Franklin started to become politically active. Franklin then created a starting idea for a union. He then began to see the unfair taxes of Britain to the colonies.
He presented the Stamp Act in reaction to Britain’s actions. After the stress of Britain, his son William became the Mayor of New Jersey, and the death of his wife brought Franklin to the decision to retire. However, the American Revolution would make this impossible. He proposed the idea off confederation; this proposal would ignite the creation of The Articles of Confederation. Franklin was the appointed Post Master General and was named to the “secret committee” which was in charge of the creation of the Army. Franklin to London as a scientist.
He was treated with great respect for his scientific inventions and philosophies. In the sass, with his association with France, Franklin was named ambassador of the new European Alley. With Franklins ability to argue and persuade he was able to negotiate France to send more supplies for the time of war. In 1776, Franklin was a member of the Committee of Five which drafted the Declaration of Independence, and he made several small changes to Thomas Jefferson draft. He was very gifted, so when he suggested any changes, people typically listened.
Franklin was also a main influence in the Constitutional Convention. Since he was a lot older than most of the other members he had a better view on some subjects; his opinions were almost viewed higher than others. In April of 1790 Benjamin Franklin died peacefully after his incredible life. “To genius he Joined a passion for virtue. His genius distinguished him from others, yet unconnected him to others, for he though knowledge for his own sake but for humanity. ” Reading Brands’ biography the reader will learn how to become, and how to live like an American.
Franklin lived his life with no regrets; he truly was one of the greatest innovators in America. When he created Junta it was all his creation; it was his initiative to start it, his spirit to form it, and was the main reason it was so intellectually strong. Franklin was also an inventor. He created many different devices like the bifocals, and the Franklin Stove. He also was the man who discovered lightning was a form of electricity. Throughout all of Franklins life he went out to achieve what he thought was going to make the world a better place.
Brands did prove his point of Benjamin Franklin being influential to both America and the world. Brands reinforced his arguments with highly viewed sources such as The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, Published by Yale University Press, information from the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia and the Library of Congress in Washington, Franklins Autobiography, Benjamin Franklin: A Reference guide, and Reappraising Benjamin Franklin: A Bicentennial Perspective. Robert C. Jones, a book viewer, writes “Franklins life cannot be captured in a phrase- or a volume.
Franklin did everything he could to make his fellow man better. Franklin was also someone who went above and beyond at everything he did, which made it hard for all of his life to be documented. However, Jones writes in his article, Brand’s came close to capturing his unbelievable life. Jones also writes “Brands writes the story of the birth of America”- an America that Franklin “discovered in himself, then helped create the world at large. ” Brands captured the life of Benjamin Franklin and how to live like a real American.