Not even Thomas Jefferson claimed as many talents or excelled at as many different professions as Benjamin Franklin. Scientist, writer, publisher, diplomat, inventor, businessman – in his long life of 84 years Franklin did them all. He contributed to the Declaration of Independence and played the key role convincing France to join the United States in the Revolutionary War. When the Articles of Confederation proved too weak, he helped craft the compromise that enabled the Constitutional Convention to succeed in producing the Constitution of the United States. Blaine Davies examines the life of the witty, brilliant and at times irascible Benjamin Franklin who as much as any Founding Father shaped our national identity.