Free ebooks for the 4th of July

July 5, 2010

Thomas Jefferson

I found a fun way to celebrate the 4th of July with my Kindle. I navigated my way to Wikipedia’s web page with a fascinating history of the Declaration of Independence. Just seven months before it was signed, author Thomas Jefferson had written “there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do.

“But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America…”

Wikipedia walks you through all the events that led up to July 4, 1776 — but you don’t have to content yourself with a historical analysis for your American history fix. When he was 65 years old, Benjamin Franklin began writing a fascinating autobiography of his own life which is available on the Kindle as a free ebook. Franklin continued working on it over the next 20 years, until his death in 1790, noting wryly that “the Affairs of the Revolution occasion’d the Interruption…”

It’s especially poignant that he begins the biography in 1770 as a loving letter to his son. But Franklin’s son sided with the British druing the American Revolution, and Wikipedia notes that they were hopelessly estranged by the time Benjamin Franklin sat down to write part two in 1784. Now he was 78, and laying down his thoughts on the idea of…a public library. And in part three — written in 1788 at the age of 82 — Franklin also remembers inventing his famous Franklin stove…and then declining a patent because it was for “the good of the people.”

It’s currently one of Amazon’s top 20 free ebooks, so I’m obviously not the only person who’s reading it this weekend. It’s a great way to answer the question: What kind of men launched the American Revolution?

With a little research, the Kindle can give you an almost magical glimpse into the real past of America…

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