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kmtrowbr · 2021-11-18 · Original thread
I adore Benjamin Franklin and I've read many many books about him.

This is my favorite biography of Franklin:

It is also very worth reading his actual writing -- one anthology is "The Portable Benjamin Franklin" -- it's quite long, but it gives you a much better sense of who he was. Benjamin Franklin himself was a better writer than ANY of his biographers:

Ultimately he is a very amorphous, playful, and loving individual. In some ways you might think of him as being like David Bowie or the Beatles. A person, who having achieved wealth and fame, used it in the best possible way. If you have read the book "Finite and Infinite Games," he was playing the Infinite Game.

Not that he needs more adulation! But as you dig deeper in Franklin becomes more mysterious & that part of him is not appreciated enough. The icon is not the man, if that makes sense.

My favorite Franklin anecdote: "Did you know that Benjamin Franklin invented windsurfing?" It's not strictly true, but he loved kites, and loved swimming (he was one of the first swimming educators as, in the 18th century many people had a deathly fear of water and many many people drowned) and one day, he was swimming on his back, while flying a kite, and he noticed it dragged him through the water very quickly. "I believe this could be a mode of transport, or of recreation," (paraphrased) he wrote in a letter.

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