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Franklin & Washington

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People just don’t wake up one morning and decide to commit treason and put themselves, their family and everything they have at risk. It is a process that starts with a tiny germ that festers and grows and feeds upon itself until it reaches a stage that causes extreme action.

Two such people that this happened to were Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. Both highly regarded and possibly the most highly regarded of their peers, very wealthy and loyal subjects to the King of England. What drove such men to lead a revolution of the type that has never occurred before? I find it difficult to understand their thought process that would lead them to start a process where there was almost no probability of success.

I know a lot about Franklin and Washington and about some of their interactions, particularly during the French and Indian War (when Washington was 22 and Franklin 48), and during Franklin’s dying days, but did not realize such voluminous meetings and exchanges between 1754 and 1790. A new book, Franklin & Washington / The Founding Partnership by Edward J. Larson provides much elucidation and facts and is written as a page-turner.

The following is taken from the ending pages of the book.

“Yet focusing on their distinct public images obscures their fundamental similarities. Hardworking and entrepreneurial, Franklin and Washington had successful business careers outside government and never viewed themselves primarily as politicians. Both prospered as colonists and supported royal rule until realizing that Britain would not extend basic English rights to Americans. Jealous of their liberties, they turned against the crown and never looked back. Each nurtured deep, lifelong relationships with both men and women. Natural leaders, people trusted them and they trusted others. Both men listened more than they talked, compromised on means to secure ends, relied on others, sacrificed for the common good, and never wavered on principle. And both were reformers…”

What they did was far better than nothing. Not perfect, and they knew it, but possibly as good as they could have gotten under all of the circumstances at that time. This book spends considerable space covering the slavery issue which is a blot on their accomplishments, but the book is more about their interwoven relationship and how they worked together to win the Revolution, establish the Constitution and government of the United States of America.

I highly recommend this book. I also recommend watching a Savannah Book Fair lecture by the author.

Do not hesitate to contact me with any business or financial questions at emendlowitz@withum.com or fill out the form below.

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