Thursday, January 19, 2006

I read a piece on Ben Franklin in The International Herald Tribune, published by The New York Times, that was highly inspiring to me. In part it says, about Franklin,

Neither birth order nor longevity--he signed every document central to America's founding--would alone have established Franklin as the ur-American, however. He was a true egalitarian, which could not be said of Adams. For all his ingenuity he was less a manufacturer of ideas than a purveyor of them; he was no dreamy Jefferson. Alexander Hamilton may well have known everything, but Franklin questioned everything.

His curiosity was matched by the supplesness of his mind, one singularly free of hobgoblins. (His ability to argue either side of an issue with equal vigor drove Adams to distraction.)

Nor was there anything orthodox or evangelical about Franklin, who took his Puritanism as he took in Enlightenment ideals: with a splash of water, hold the doctrine. His religions was tolerance, his sect pragmatism.

This is from Stacy Schiff, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning "A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America."

On Location
Paris France

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