Since I last posted, I dusted off another book from my summer reading list, Edmund Morgan’s, Benjamin Franklin. I also impulse-bought PBS’s tv show Liberty’s Kids. I bought the TV show hoping to get to use that when I eventually have a classroom of my own, and to help show some of the exciting aspects of history.
This weekend I was babysitting some kids from church (both of whom are under age 10) and so I thought I would put on Liberty’s Kids. As they were watching one episode they saw a man in the bottom of a boat writing a letter. Quickly, one of the kids asked “Is he a bad guy?” and as I looked at the screen I saw that he was asking about Benjamin Franklin. It’s so funny being asked that kind of question. I told him “no.” And I was just running through some areas where Ben Franklin might have been considered a bad guy.
Reading Morgan’s biography on Franklin, it wasn’t hard to discover that Franklin had his fair share of enemies. Whether they were rival scientists, anti-colonists in the House of Commons, or eventually John Adams, there were some people who might have viewed Franklin as an enemy. It is funny to think of Franklin as someone disliked, because all through compulsory education, we are taught to admire the founders of America. To see that some of these men had enemies, for very rational reasons, is just something interested to process now that I am a history major, and I have to look at all the sides of the dice.
It has been a very busy summer finding time to read between my long hours at work, but it has been very productive and very colonial. So next up on my reading list is Evan Thomas’s, John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy. Should be interesting. . .