The Making of a Patriot: Benjamin Franklin at the Cockpit (Critical Historical Encounters Series)

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9780195386578: The Making of a Patriot: Benjamin Franklin at the Cockpit (Critical Historical Encounters Series)

On January 29, 1774, Benjamin Franklin was called to appear before the Privy Council--a select group of the king's advisors--in an octagonal-shaped room in Whitehall Palace known as the Cockpit. Spurred by jeers and applause from the audience in the Cockpit, Solicitor General Alexander Wedderburn unleashed a withering tirade against Franklin. Though Franklin entered the room as a dutiful servant of the British crown, he left as a budding American revolutionary. In The Making of a Patriot, renowned Franklin historian Sheila L. Skemp presents an insightful, lively narrative that goes beyond the traditional Franklin biography--and behind the common myths--to demonstrate how Franklin's ultimate decision to support the colonists was by no means a foregone conclusion. In fact, up until the Cockpit ordeal, he was steadfastly committed to achieving "an accommodation of our differences."

The Making of a Patriot sheds light on the conspiratorial framework within which actors on both sides of the Atlantic moved toward revolution. It highlights how this event ultimately pitted Franklin against his son, suggesting that the Revolution was, in no small part, also a civil war.

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About the Author:


Sheila L. Skemp is the Clare Leslie Marquette Professor of American History at the University of Mississippi.

Review:


"Sheila L. Skemp's The Making of a Patriot offers a concise and insightful account of a consequential moment in the construction of the American historical narrative....Skemp brings into much sharper focus the relationship between a single individual and the historical canvas, between Franklin and America....This study helps us better understand the dynamics and fluidity of the [Cockpit]."--Journal of American History


"Using a single incident as a point of departure--Benjamin Franklin's humiliation by the Privy Council in 1774--Sheila Skemp explores how and why Franklin came to renounce his allegiance to the King in order to become one of the foremost proponents of American independence. Through her incisive examination of Frankli''s personal and political struggles, Skemp sheds light on the intellectual choices and painful decisions that were necessary for those who came to support the American cause."--Rosemarie Zagarri, George Mason University, author of Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic


"Once again Sheila Skemp demonstrates her unique ability to illustrate the long-term consequences of an isolated incident through a single individual. This time the person is Benjamin Franklin and the critical moment is the withering tongue lashing he received at the Cockpit. As she skillfully contextualizes the events preceding and following that scathing interview in a highly readable narrative, Skemp makes a compelling case for Franklin's disenchantment with England and the development of his American identity."--Elaine Forman Crane, Fordham University


"Sheila Skemp's lively and immensely informative book is full of insights into both leading individuals and politics, balancing a crucial event and the actions and intentions that shaped it. Her Franklin is a good politician, not a perfect one; she writes to understand rather than to celebrate. Her narrative highlights contingency while bringing together many themes of recent scholarship."--David Waldstreicher, Temple University, author of Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery and the American Revolution


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Skemp, Sheila L
Published by Oxford University Press, USA, Oxford, England (2012)
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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA, Oxford, England, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First edition. New in new dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 184 p. Contains: Illustrations, black & white. Critical Historical Encounters. Audience: General/trade. Bookseller Inventory # 771920

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Book Description Oxford University Press, U.S.A., 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. On January 29, 1774, Benjamin Franklin was called to appear before the Privy Council -- a select group of the King's advisors -- in an octagonal-shaped room in Whitehall Palace known as the Cockpit. Spurred by jeers and applause from the audience, Solicitor General Alexander Wedderburn unleashed a withering tirade, accusing Franklin of harboring "secret designs" to win colonial independence. Franklin entered the Cockpit as a dutiful servant of the British crown. He left as a budding American revolutionary. In THE MAKING OF A PATRIOT, renowned Franklin historian Sheila Skemp explains how Franklin's humiliating censure before the Council turned one of the King's most loyal subjects into one of England's most avowed enemies. Skemp presents a piercing, accessible narrative that goes beyond the traditional Franklin biography -- and behind the common myths --- to demonstrate how Franklin's ultimate decision to support the colonists was by no means a foregone conclusion. In fact, up until the Cockpit ordeal, he was steadfastly committed to achieving "an accommodation of our differences." The book examines how Franklin had ostensibly been summoned to the Cockpit to answer questions regarding a petition from the General Court of Massachusetts to remove two officials from their posts -- an audacious demand since each served at the behest of the King. Further stoking tension was the incendiary news of the Boston Tea Party. Unwittingly, Benjamin Franklin became a convenient target for British hostility, personifying to them the agitators who sought to erode England's authority. THE MAKING OF A PATRIOT uses the Cockpit incident to reveal the conspiratorial framework within which actors on both sides of the Atlantic moved toward revolution, and discusses how its ramifications affected Franklin's own family, pitting father against son. Most of all, it captures how one seemingly isolated event had dramatic, history-making implications. Bookseller Inventory # 000255

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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA, United States, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On January 29, 1774, Benjamin Franklin was called to appear before the Privy Council--a select group of the king s advisors--in an octagonal-shaped room in Whitehall Palace known as the Cockpit. Spurred by jeers and applause from the audience in the Cockpit, Solicitor General Alexander Wedderburn unleashed a withering tirade against Franklin. Though Franklin entered the room as a dutiful servant of the British crown, he left as a budding American revolutionary. In The Making of a Patriot, renowned Franklin historian Sheila L. Skemp presents an insightful, lively narrative that goes beyond the traditional Franklin biography--and behind the common myths--to demonstrate how Franklin s ultimate decision to support the colonists was by no means a foregone conclusion. In fact, up until the Cockpit ordeal, he was steadfastly committed to achieving an accommodation of our differences. The Making of a Patriot sheds light on the conspiratorial framework within which actors on both sides of the Atlantic moved toward revolution. It highlights how this event ultimately pitted Franklin against his son, suggesting that the Revolution was, in no small part, also a civil war. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780195386578

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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA, United States, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On January 29, 1774, Benjamin Franklin was called to appear before the Privy Council--a select group of the king s advisors--in an octagonal-shaped room in Whitehall Palace known as the Cockpit. Spurred by jeers and applause from the audience in the Cockpit, Solicitor General Alexander Wedderburn unleashed a withering tirade against Franklin. Though Franklin entered the room as a dutiful servant of the British crown, he left as a budding American revolutionary. In The Making of a Patriot, renowned Franklin historian Sheila L. Skemp presents an insightful, lively narrative that goes beyond the traditional Franklin biography--and behind the common myths--to demonstrate how Franklin s ultimate decision to support the colonists was by no means a foregone conclusion. In fact, up until the Cockpit ordeal, he was steadfastly committed to achieving an accommodation of our differences. The Making of a Patriot sheds light on the conspiratorial framework within which actors on both sides of the Atlantic moved toward revolution. It highlights how this event ultimately pitted Franklin against his son, suggesting that the Revolution was, in no small part, also a civil war. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780195386578

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