Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Biography Benjamin Franklin - Citizen of the World|
Actor: Benjamin Franklin
Genres: Television, Documentary
He was America's ambassador to the world, a unique individual who came to symbolize the inventiveness and industriousness of an entire nation. Benjamin Franklin's fascinating and diverse accomplishments defined him as a Re... more »
A good overview of an extraordinary life
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 11/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It seems that the more you know about Benjamin Franklin, the less you know about him. He was a brilliant man who somehow managed to be both simple and very complicated all at the same time. If I tried to list all of his accomplishments here, I would surpass the maximum word limit before I could even get my review started. At the birth of the new Republic, his was the face of America to Europe. I must admit, though, that I have never been all that enraptured with Franklin, despite all of his brilliance. He broke with the British Empire only after being excoriated by the Privy Council for his role in the "Hutchinson affair," he was not what you would call a humble man, he went years without seeing his wife (his first "short" trip to England lasted seven years, and he could have come home much sooner had he wanted to), he has always struck me as something of a dandy and a skirt-chaser, and it is hard for me to embrace anyone who was more at home with the French than with his American compatriots (the French simply adored Benjamin Franklin).
Still, the genius of the man cannot be denied, and this A&E Biography presentation does as good a job as possible given its allotted time of some 45 minutes. By necessity, it could only hit the high points without delving deeply into the man's character, but you can't help but be amazed by the wide range of knowledge and talent the man possessed, the inventions and innovations he bequeathed to his fellow man, the great spirit which animated him in all things for all of his 84 years, and his service to the new nation of America. It should be remembered that Franklin won international acclaim as a scientist years before he served as America's original elder statesman. Those with just a cursory knowledge of Franklin's life might be surprised to learn how little time he spent in America during the crucial years of rebellion and independence. How many know that he also produced an illegitimate son in his youthful, most arduous days (although he did adopt the child rather than shun him)? This video really does not go into detail about Franklin and women except to say that women in France fawned upon him and he had two particularly important lady friends there in his later years. Franklin's bold flirtation with the women of France scandalized the staid and proper John Adams, and some of Franklin's contemporaries considered him a hypocrite who preached morality while he indulged in his own lustful pleasures.
A short video such as this cannot begin to penetrate the depths of Franklin's being and character; it can, though, give the viewer an appreciation for his remarkable, wide-ranging accomplishments and his important role in shaping the young American republic. If the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the name Benjamin Franklin is the image of an old man flying a kite during a thunderstorm, you would do very well indeed to take a look at this A&E biography production and acquaint yourself with a set of accomplishments it seems impossible for one man to have achieved over the course of one lifetime. Men of Franklin's caliber and brilliance only come along about once a century."
D. L. Steele | The Great Pacific NW | 06/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you love Ben Franklin you will thoroughly enjoy this DVD. It's much shorter than the PBS version, but I think thats an advantage because it allows people who aren't interested in Franklin to get an understanding of just how important he was in American independence.
I've showed it to friends who aren't at all interested in Franklin or History and they all were impressed not only with the DVD, but surprised that Franklin did so much in his lifetime
I highly recommed this DVD"
"We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shal
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 01/25/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Jack Perkins-hosted 44 minute BIOGRAPHY episode BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: CITIZEN OF THE WORLD first aired in 1987. Narrator is Monte Markham.
We've all heard that Ben Franklin flew a kite in a thunderstorm to demonstrate the electrical composition of lightning, but what actually happened that famous day? Was the kite struck by a bolt, or did a key he attached to the string start to glow? The answer is just one of many trivial tidbits found here.
Franklin, who invented the lightning rod and a device that generated small amounts of static electricity, was 46 at the time he and his 21-year-old son sent a home-built kite into the clouds. At the right moment, Ben put his finger near the key and a small spark zapped him, thus proving his contention about the nature of lightning.
During the tumultuous years prior to the American Revolution, Loyalist Ben was asked to represent the Colonies at court in London. While there, his skillful diplomacy and persuasion got the hated Stamp Act revoked. When Franklin's honor was later wrongly impugned in an hour-long Privy Council diatribe, he didn't protest or defend himself, but left those chambers a newly born American patriot.
Back at Philadelphia, Ben sat in the initial Continental Congress and contributed to the final version of the Declaration of Independence. Among many other accomplishments: original Postmaster General for the united Colonies, organizer of Philadelphia's fire and police departments, creator of the first insurance company and founder of a school that one day became the University of Pennsylvania. He invented bifocals and the Franklin stove, a device still used today.
The many homilies Ben published in Poor Richard's Almanack (a penny saved, a stitch in time, early to bed, etc.) have long ago been accepted as trusims. It would seem this early author's life mattered most, for despite many considerable scientific and political accomplishments of later years, Franklin's self-penned epitaph, written at age 22 and never revised after, was headed by his name and the word PRINTER.
There's much more in this fine overview of one of the greatest men of America's first crucial decades. Highly recommended!
Related BOIGRAPHY episodes:
GEORGE WASHINGTON: Founding Father
PAUL REVERE: The Midnight Rider
BENEDICT ARNOLD: Triumph and Treason"