Cotton Mather and Benjamin Franklin: The Price of Representative Personality Mitchell Robert Breitwieser

ISBN: 9780521107877

Published: February 12th 2009

Paperback

320 pages


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Cotton Mather and Benjamin Franklin: The Price of Representative Personality  by  Mitchell Robert Breitwieser

Cotton Mather and Benjamin Franklin: The Price of Representative Personality by Mitchell Robert Breitwieser
February 12th 2009 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 320 pages | ISBN: 9780521107877 | 3.71 Mb

It might seem difficult to find more disparate personalities than Cotton Mather, the alternately tortured and punishing epitome of American Puritanism and Benjamin Franklin, the liberal and affable American philosopher. This opposition is not an objective historical judgement but what Franklin himself wished to communicate to readers. Though he promoted himself, his opinions and his actions as a release from the discipline Mather represented, Franklin owes a greater intellectual and emotional debt to Mather than he admits. According to Breitwieser, Franklins conception of the well-designed life is a modernised and sophisticated revision of Mathers rather than a clean break from unreason to sanity.

Breitwieser suggests that the continuity between Mather and Franklin can illuminate the larger continuity between American Puritanism and the American Enlightenment and that certain abiding questions about American identity are raised clearly for the first time in the writings of these two brilliant founders of the national literature.



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