Read BFab to part 2.
Literacy – self making, building up of knowledge
Franklin became a cultural icon, definitive of early American culture and American thinking.
Representative, strange and bizarre in his approach to life and self-identification. Pre-Romanticism,
public life, Roman republican form.
Rationalist believes against un-scientific dogmas. Man of Credit – owes nothing, with a reputation,
capable of a public life.
Self-irony: e.g chart of virtues, could be sarcastic. Not taking selfhood very seriously, deprecating self,
understanding the impossibility of perfection in man. Celebrate American ideas but mocks them in the
process as well.
Somehow equal to Voltaire in status in America. Public servant and cosmopolitan. Self-made man, from
rags to riches. Self-promotion, promotes fiat currency, and then makes the currency himself, hypocritical
“political consultant”, did not support revolutionary ideas, but dedicated to revolution when it
Very interested in natural phenomenon. Continued upon the road towards scientific pragmatism