This lively text exemplifies both the man and the artist. Benjamin Franklin lived in turbulent times and met those times head-on with passion and gusto. James Daugherty—ever the patriot himself—has captured that essential nature of Franklin in his energetic and dramatic three-color lithographs that reveal the neophyte as he faces the fresh soil of a young nation filled with optimism and promise. From his Quaker childhood to his early days as printer's apprentice to runaway, to stranger in the City of Brotherly Love, to the "Water American" in London, Ben's youth was filled with adventures and challenges that taught him invaluable lessons about human nature. These lessons would serve him well as he grew to be a leader of the young colonies as they faced the tyranny of Britain. As a leader in the American Revolution he was indispensable as an ambassador to England and later France where he won the hearts of the nation by his simple Quaker wisdom and geniality. All these things were accomplished while he pursued his interests as scientist, inventor, and prolific author. In everything he did, Franklin was always compelled by how he might best serve his fellow man.
About the Author: Before James Daugherty (1889-1974) became a noted author, he was a well-established artist having illustrated more than forty books by other authors. In Mr. Daugherty's own books, the art and text combine gusto, exuberance, rich detail and a masculine style singing a song of America. When receiving the Newbery Award in 1940 for Daniel Boone, Daugherty summed up the spirit of his major lifework: "Wit and taste, beauty and joy are as much a necessary part of the democratic heritage as economics and the utilities...Children's books are a part of that art of joy and joy in art that is the certain inalienable right of a free people." Mr. Daugherty is primarily remembered for his inspired expression of the American spirit in both visual and literary form, a spirit characterized by appreciation for the heroes of democracy. In publishing three of his titles we have painstakingly preserved his two and three color drawings so that you may enjoy his books in their original context.