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Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth of Ingenuity


"To pass yourself off as a self-made man is to head off questions about your origins.  Nick Bunker is wise enough not to take Franklin at his word and resourceful enough to have unearthed his family’s past.  The result is a robust, graceful half-life, a portrait of the young Franklin that casts fresh light on his energy, his boundless curiosity, his passion for the new—and the self-made."
—Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra: A Life and The Witches: Salem, 1692

In this new account of Franklin's early life, Pulitzer finalist Nick Bunker portrays him as a complex, driven young man who elbows his way to success.  A tale of science, politics, war, and religion, this is also a story about Franklin's forebears: the talented family of English craftsmen who produced America's favorite genius.

By Nick Bunker. Published by Knopf, 2018. 464 pages, hardcover.