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

Cotton Mather and Benjamin Franklin: The Price of Representative Personality

byMitchell Robert Breitwieser

Paperback | February 12, 2009

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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, Franklin's conception of the well-designed life is a modernised and sophisticated revision of Mather's 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.
Title:Cotton Mather and Benjamin Franklin: The Price of Representative PersonalityFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 0.71 inPublished:February 12, 2009Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521107873

ISBN - 13:9780521107877

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The aspiration to representative personality; 1. Cotton Mather's self; 2. Cotton Mather's work; 3. Decline and remembrance; 4. Pharmaceutical innovation; 5. Cotton Mather's renaissance; 6. Benjamin Franklin's nature; 7. The spark and the dollar: Franklin's public career; 8. The demonstration of character; 9. The death, shame and renown of Benjamin Franklin; 10. A private Franklin; Index.