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Bolt Of Fate : Benjamin Franklin And His Fabulous Kite - Tom Tucker

Bolt Of Fate

Benjamin Franklin And His Fabulous Kite

Paperback Published: 23rd February 2005
ISBN: 9781586482947
Number Of Pages: 297

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Every schoolchild in America knows that Benjamin Franklin flew a kite during a thunderstorm in the summer of 1752. Electricity from the clouds above traveled down the kite's twine and threw a spark from a key that Franklin had attached to the string. He thereby proved that lightning and electricity were one.

What many of us do not realize is that Franklin used this breakthrough in his day's intensely competitive field of electrical science to embarrass his French and English rivals. His kite experiment was an international event and the Franklin that it presented to the world—a homespun, rural philosopher-scientist performing an immensely important and dangerous experiment with a child's toy—became the Franklin of myth. In fact, this sly presentation on Franklin's part so charmed the French that he became an irresistible celebrity when he traveled there during the American Revolution. The crowds and the journalists, and the ladies, cajoled the French powers into joining us in our fight against the British.

What no one has successfully proven until now—and what few have suggested—is that Franklin never flew the kite at all. Benjamin Franklin was an enthusiastic hoaxer. And with the electric kite, he performed his greatest hoax. As Tucker shows, it was this trick that may have won the American Revolution.

"A pacy tale of media-grabbing deceit, which also finds a way to remain respectful to its subject." New Scientist"

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Author's Notep. xiii
Prologuep. xv
The Hand
Almanack-Writerp. 3
The Party Beginsp. 12
The Equipmentp. 22
The Genius of Nationsp. 32
Universal Curep. 41
Sundayp. 49
The Virtuoso
Among Gentlemenp. 59
Night Benjaminp. 70
Ivy-Girls and Holly-Boysp. 79
Deadly Boxp. 87
The Crusadersp. 99
Marlyp. 110
Lightningp. 124
Citizen of the World
The Kitep. 135
Death at St. Petersburgp. 157
Making Amendsp. 177
Franklin's Pointp. 186
The Tallyp. 195
Household God
The Makingp. 205
Bolt of Fatep. 215
Checkmatep. 229
Epiloguep. 235
Notesp. 239
Bibliographyp. 271
Indexp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781586482947
ISBN-10: 1586482947
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 297
Published: 23rd February 2005
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 19.68 x 13.34  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.33