Benjamin Franklin and the American Revolution


Benjamin Franklin and the American Revolution

Jonathan R. Dull

184 pages


December 2010


$16.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
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December 2010


$16.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

The inventor, the ladies’ man, the affable diplomat, and the purveyor of pithy homespun wisdom: we all know the charming, resourceful Benjamin Franklin. What is less appreciated is the importance of Franklin’s part in the American Revolution: except for Washington he was its most irreplaceable leader. Although aged and in ill health, Franklin served the cause with unsurpassed zeal and dedication. Jonathan R. Dull, whose decades of work on The Papers of Benjamin Franklin have given him rare insight into his subject, explains Franklin’s role in the Revolution, what prepared him for that role, and what motivated him.
The Franklin presented here, a man immersed in the violence, danger, and suffering of the Revolution, is a tougher person than the Franklin of legend. Dull’s portrait captures Franklin’s confidence and self-righteousness about himself and the American cause. It shows his fanatical zeal, his hatred of King George III and George’s American supporters (particularly Franklin’s own son), and his disdain for hardship and danger. It also shows a side of Franklin that he tried to hide: his vanity, pride, and ambition. Though not as lovable and avuncular as the person of legend, this Franklin is more interesting, more complex, and in many ways more impressive.

Author Bio

Jonathan R. Dull served as the senior associate editor of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin series until 2008. His other books include The Age of the Ship of the Line: The British and French Navies, 1650–1815 (Nebraska 2009) and The French Navy and the Seven Years’ War, available in a Bison Books edition.


“A rich history of Franklin’s conduct in the Revolution. Having the various strands of Franklin’s life in the revolutionary period woven together is of great value. Both laymen and scholars will find it useful and interesting.”—Robert L. Middlekauff, Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley

“Jonathan Dull is the leading expert on naval and diplomatic history in this era as well as an important Franklin scholar. . . . [This book is] a timely and useful synthesis.”—David Waldstreicher, author of Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery, and the American Revolution

"Historian Jonathan Dull's new book provides insight into one of our most enthralling founding fathers."—Al Hemingway, Military Heritage

"Dull's 122-page, beautifully written masterpiece is the kind of book that readers will take in at one sitting or savor in pieces, digesting a part of each of the six chapters slowly."—C.L. Egan, Choice

Table of Contents

1. From Rebelliousness to Prosperity
2. Two Missions to England
3. Eighteen Months in Congress
4. Franklin and the French
5. Franklin and the British
6. Franklin and his Fellow Americans
Epilogue: Franklin Returns to Philadelphia
Recommended Reading


2011 Choice Outstanding Academic Title