Books: The Superior American

THE PAPERS op BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, VOL. Ill (513 pp.)—Editor, Leonard W. Labaree—Yale University Press ($ 10).

According to Charles Baudelaire's defi-nition-by-negation of a superior man—"He is not a specialist"—Benjamin Franklin was one of the most superior men who ever lived. He was also, according to Phillips Russell's widely read biography, "the first civilized American." Superior or merely civilized, he certainly spread himself. Almost everyone now knows that he invented the lightning rod and bifocal glasses, that he-founded the Saturday Evening Post and the Philosophical Society of America, but even the brighter college...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!