In this lecture, Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, traces Franklin's career from his early days as an apprentice in his brother's Boston print shop to his involvement, at the age of eighty-four, with the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery. Franklin was an autodidact, self-taught in every field he entered, but the virtue that he most embodied, Isaacson argues, was tolerance. The ultimate self-made man, Franklin's life remains essentially American.

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