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The Loyal Son

  • Paperback $32.00

    May 30, 2017 | 720 Pages

  • Hardcover $30.00

    May 30, 2017 | 464 Pages

  • Ebook $14.99

    May 30, 2017 | 464 Pages

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“A riveting narrative about the bizarre turmoil between Benjamin Franklin and his son William. The amount of new research undertaken is deeply impressive. And the writing is elegant and always informative. Highly recommended!”—Douglas Brinkley, professor of history, Rice University, CNN presidential historian, and author of Rightful Heritage

“This poignant, absorbing portrait of Benjamin Franklin and his son William is a powerful reminder that America’s fight for independence was also an agonizing civil war, in this case pitting a father against his beloved son. In exploring Franklin’s tormented relationship with William, the royal governor of New Jersey, who remained loyal to Britain, Daniel Mark Epstein brilliantly illuminates the American Revolution’s tragic human cost.”—Lynne Olson, New York Times bestselling author of Citizens of London and Last Hope Island

“Daniel Mark Epstein has written a textured, sympathetic account of a fallen founder, William Franklin: patriot, public servant, son, and political partner of Benjamin. Epstein shows, from the inside, his ambitions, yearnings, decisions good and bad, and final, crushing failure.”—Richard Brookhiser, author of Founders’ Son

“Few stories are sadder than that of the travail of the Loyalist William Franklin during the American Revolution or of his post-1776 relationship with his more famous father, Benjamin Franklin. Daniel Mark Epstein tells the story with zest, passion, and compassion. Reading of William’s plight filled me with despair. Reading of Benjamin Franklin’s scornful behavior toward his son made me angry. The Loyal Son is must reading for those who want to see the American Revolution from the other side—the Tory side—and to be acquainted with Benjamin Franklin’s darker side.”—John Ferling, author of Whirlwind and Jefferson and Hamilton

“Well-researched and absorbing . . . [Daniel Mark] Epstein, the author of many books, including the acclaimed The Lincolns, offers a balanced, nuanced study, sympathetic to but not uncritical of either man.”BookPage
“The flow of Epstein’s writing allows for a fully immersive experience and illuminates the tangled family relationships of one of the pillars of the American Revolution.”Library Journal
“[Epstein] skillfully shows how the American Revolution divided communities and households, as would happen more famously during the Civil War. . . . Where the book succeeds splendidly is in rescuing William Franklin from obscurity. He was a loving son, an intelligent and honorable man, and a skilled (and final) royal governor of New Jersey who paid dearly by losing everything for his principled, agonizing fidelity to Britain. . . . Yet while never exculpating William for his choices, Epstein makes him thoroughly sympathetic. . . . Epstein’s portrayals result in a thoroughly enjoyable and well-informed . . . work of history.”Publishers Weekly
“Epstein, an acclaimed poet, playwright, and biographer, portrays these two strong and powerful men with balance and compassion. . . . This is a well-done account of one of the many personal tragedies engendered by the ‘Glorious Cause.’”Booklist

“A gripping history of a family torn apart by political upheaval . . . Drawing on much unpublished correspondence as well as published works, the author constructs a fast-paced, vivid narrative with a host of characters whose appearance and personality he etches with deft concision. . . . A perceptive, gritty portrayal of the frenzy of war and a father and son caught at its tumultuous center.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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