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Critical Insights: Benjamin Franklin

Edited and introduced by 18th century scholar Jack Lynch, Professor of English at Rutgers University, Newark, this volume examines several facets of America's most famous polymath. Lynch's introduction considers the essays collected in this volume as he tries to pin down the iconic and larger-than-life Franklin. Clark Davis provides a biography of Franklin after which Bradley Bazzle considers the Autobiography as a central part of the American creation myth, part memoir, part performance.

Original essays by Neil Heims, Gurdip Panesar, Maura Grace Harrington, and Matthew Bolton collectively consider Franklin, his times, and his impact on American culture. Heims examines the culture of 18th Century America and the very public figure of Franklin while Panesar considers the difficulties critics have had in painting a complete portrait of Franklin, due in large part to his multi-facetedness. Maura Grace Harrington looks at the Autobiography through the lens of fatherhood, both personal and spiritual while Matthew Bolton offers an original interpretation of the so-called "Lost Generation" as a response to Franklin's legacy.

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