Bolt of Fate: Benjamin Franklin and His Electric Kite Hoax/Tucker

Award-winning writer Tom Tucker asks, “Was Benjamin Franklin’s famous electric kite experiment a hoax? And did it determine the course of the American Revolution?” Tucker looks at Franklin’s English, French, and Russian rivals during the intensely competitive scientific time of the mid-eighteenth century, and argues that the image  that Franklin presented to the world—that of a homespun, rural philosopher-scientist performing an immensely important and dangerous experiment with a child’s toy—was key to charming the French and enlisting their crucial help in the fight against the British.

(Hardcover/ 297 pages/ 2005)