[A]t the age of 24, Benjamin becomes the head of his own business, without having saved any money, without having worked unusually hard, without having omitted any of the pleasures beloved by imaginative youth, and without having lived up to any of the maxims for which he is later to become rewned. -from Chapter XI: Philadelphia's Youngest Master-Printer It's with equal measures of unstinting respect and gentle reproach that rewned biographer Phillips Russell tackles the life of one of the legendary figures of colonial America and the Revolution, a figure he deems mirthful, generous, open-minded, learned, tolerant, and humor-loving...the first American man of the world. A delight to read, this is a cheerful, warmly admiring recounting of the story of the printer and the politician, the debaucher and the diplomat, a man whose chief weakness was a lack of aptitude for mathematics, who was t above looking to the church to do police duty over his womenfolk, who was midwife at the birth of the world's first great republic. Profusely illustrated and bursting with the author's enthusiasm as well as its subject's abundant personality, this is a classic of American historical literature. American journalist CHARLES PHILLIPS RUSSELL (1883-1974) was a newspaper editor and professor of English and journalism at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is the author of numerous books, including biographies of Thomas Jefferson, John Paul Jones, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and William the Conqueror.