author: Tom Tucker
average rating: 3.27
book published: 2003
read at: 2010/08/17
date added: 2010/08/18
shelves: history, non-fiction, science
Not as satisfying as I wanted it to be, honestly. Interesting to realize that Franklin almost certainly did not do the kite thing, and of course the wacky parlor-game atmosphere of early electrical science is always fun to read about. I think I actually wanted more details about Franklin’s other hoaxes, for one thing.
Also, Priestly comes off very badly in this book, which is a strange contrast to the Steven Johnson book I read last summer. In that, he seemed flawed but interesting, whereas Tucker is brutal about both his looks and his personality: basically, a sycophantic weirdo.
It’s one of those books that contrasts with other books I’ve read in a way that makes me wonder about the biases of all the authors. History can be interesting that way.