“No Founding Father worked harder than Benjamin Franklin to establish a reputation as that most American (and enigmatic) of types:  the self-made man.  But as Nick Bunker brilliantly demonstrates in this fascinating new biography of the scientist as a conflicted young man, Franklin’s past—in particular his family’s past in England—followed him every step of the way”

          –   Nathaniel Philbrick, National Book Award winner and author of In the Heart of the Sea, Mayflower, and Valiant Ambition


“It is nearly impossible to say anything new about Benjamin Franklin, but Nick Bunker has done it brilliantly with this study of the young Franklin. An extraordinary achievement.”

          –    Gordon S. Wood, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Friends Divided and The Radicalism of the American Revolution, and Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of  History Emeritus, Brown University


 “To pass yourself off as a self-made man is to head off questions about your origins.  Nick Bunker is wise enough not to take Franklin at his word and resourceful enough to have unearthed his family’s past.  The result is a robust, graceful half-life, a portrait of the young Franklin that casts fresh light on his energy, his boundless curiosity, his passion for the new — and the self-made.”

         –  Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Cleopatra and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America


“Is there something more to learn, after almost 250 years, about the subject of the most read autobiography in U.S. history? Shockingly original, thoroughly researched, and strikingly well written, Young Benjamin Franklin has something for everyone. It’s the best book on Franklin in more than a decade. Nick Bunker has once again made the familiar strange and wondrous.”

                  –   David Waldstreicher, Distinguished Professor of History, The Graduate Center, City University of New York and author of Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery and the American Revolution


” Make room on the top shelf of all Franklin biographies.  Bunker here provides a stunning reappraisal of America’s most self-created genius, loaded with Franklinesque wisdom on every page, carried forward on the wings of words that simply sing.”

                  –  Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize winner, National Book Award winner, and author of American Sphinx and Founding Brothers