What We Are Reading Today: Franklin & Washington

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Updated 02 February 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Franklin & Washington

Author: Edward J. Larson

This first-of-its-kind dual biography of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington by Edward J. Larson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, illuminates the importance of these leaders’ enduring partnership, according to a review published on goodreads.com.
Theirs was a three-decade-long bond that, more than any other pairing, would forge the US. Vastly different men, Benjamin Franklin — an abolitionist freethinker from the urban north — and George Washington — a slaveholding general from the agrarian south — were the indispensable authors of American independence and the two key partners in the attempt to craft a more perfect union at the Constitutional Convention, held in Franklin’s Philadelphia and presided over by Washington. And yet their teamwork has been little remarked upon in the centuries since.
Illuminating Franklin and Washington’s relationship with striking new detail and energy, Larson shows that theirs was truly an intimate working friendship that amplified the talents of each for collective advancement of the American project.


What We Are Reading Today: Land of Wondrous Cold

Updated 51 min 51 sec ago

What We Are Reading Today: Land of Wondrous Cold

Author: Gillen D’Arcy Wood

Antarctica, the ice kingdom hosting the South Pole, looms large in the human imagination.
The secrets of this vast frozen desert have long tempted explorers, but its brutal climate and glacial shores notoriously resist human intrusion. Land of Wondrous Cold tells a gripping story of the pioneering 19th century voyages, when British, French, and American commanders raced to penetrate Antarctica’s glacial rim for unknown lands beyond.
These intrepid Victorian explorers — James Ross, Dumont D’Urville, and Charles Wilkes — laid the foundation for our current understanding of Terra Australis Incognita, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
Today, the white continent poses new challenges, as scientists race to uncover Earth’s climate history, which is recorded in the south polar ice and ocean floor, and to monitor the increasing instability of the Antarctic ice cap, which threatens to inundate coastal cities worldwide.
Gillen D’Arcy Wood describes Antarctica’s role in a planetary drama of plate tectonics, climate change, and species evolution.