Friday, January 20, 2012
Book Review - Poor Richard's Lament
In Poor Richard’s Lament, Benjamin Franklin has been confined to a private apartment in the “Plantation of the Unrepentant” for the past two-plus centuries and has recently received word that his petition for final processing has finally been approved. In the company of two Intermediaries, Ben appears before a panel of examiners in the “Celestial Court of Petitions” to make his case. His examiners, disconcertingly, are three former arch-adversaries: John Adams, Alexander Wedderburn, and Reverend William Smith.
By the end of Ben’s examination, in which the ‘sins of the Pater’ are brought devastatingly to fore, Ben fully expects to be cast into the abyss. Instead, he is invited to bear witness to what has become of America in the two-plus centuries of his absence.
Ben’s modern-day odyssey begins at his birth site in Boston, passes through New York (where Ben upstages a leadership conference at the Waldorf), and ends at his gravesite in Philadelphia. Interwoven into the main story is a second, beginning in the West Wing and ending in the blood-stained streets of West Philadelphia. Eventually, the parallel stories collide in a stunning series of shocks and aftershocks.
Following in the traditions of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, and Dante’s Divine Comedy, Poor Richard’s Lament, nine years in the making, is an intricately woven, ultimately uplifting tale of revelation and redemption, written in close consonance with the avuncular and aphoristic persona of Benjamin Franklin.
Tom Fitzgerald is a man of many talents, studying physics, mathematics, law, industrial management, and English. He was a door-to-door salesman, a vocational counselor, a stockbroker, a lobbyist, a technical writer, and a corporate manager.
A Navy UDT/SEAL during the Vietnam war, Tom has swum across the eastern end of Lake Ontario and ran the Boston Marathon three times before a fall on black ice abruptly ended a life-long addiction to endorphins. He and his wife of 44 years have three grown sons and three grandsons. They live in New England.
My Take on the Book
What I loved about this book was that the author did a great job of bringing out some of the unknown components to Franklin's life. I have read Biographies of Franklin in the past, but this brought forward a ton of facts that I was not aware of and that I found to be very enlightening. The author has done a great job at bringing forward so much detail. The book is full of so much of this detail that I was amazed to find all of this in the book itself as it was so much more than what I was expecting. This was a great book that I would recommend to any person who loves history.
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