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Was Benjamin Franklin the First American?
Aired 5/29/2003

This week, Think Tank takes a look at Americaís founding grandfather, Benjamin Franklin. Though he was an eminent diplomat, politician, and prose stylist, most think of Franklin as the kite-flying discoverer of electricity. Those who have taken a closer look, however, have called Franklin "the first American" and "a new kind of person." What should we remember about Benjamin Franklin? How should we judge him? And if he was indeed "the first American," then who are we?
  Read the full transcript

  H.W. Brands
    Professor of history at Texas A&M University and author of 19 books, including "The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin" and the biography "Woodrow Wilson"
  Claude-Anne Lopez
    former editor of the Benjamin Franklin Papers at Yale University and author of "My Life with Benjamin Franklin"
  Ormond Seavey
    professor of English at the George Washington University and author of "Becoming Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography and the Life."

Originally Aired: 5/24/2001

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Here are some previous Think Tank programs that may be of interest.
Fordís Fundamentals, Part Two
  aired 8/24/2006
Fordís Fundamentals, Part one
  aired 8/17/2006
Civil Rights, Then and Now, Part One
  aired 3/30/2006

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