... remember that the reform work he did for the cities he lived in was as important as any in the century. ... Much of his work was cultural: in Philadelphia, he started an intellectual society, the Junto; set up the first lending library; and—famously until this day—was the driving force for the foundation of the University of Pennsylvania and the American Philosophical Society.
...he was well-grounded in basic democratic principles (though he remained ambivalent about natural rights), had a keen sense of the needs of the ordinary people among whom he lived, and possessed a skill and cleverness of expression that make him one of the supreme political communicators of all time.
The Scientific Mind of Ben Franklin by Jerry Weinberger, The New Atlantis, Winter 2007
(via Arts & Letters Daily)
The Sage of Philadelphia, by Steven Forde, review of Benjamin Franklin, by Edmund S. Morgan, and Franklin: The Essential Founding Father, by James Srodes, Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2002
Big Ben, by Marc Arkin, New Criterion, October 2002
Franklin in Pennsylvania, a review by Richard Brookhiser of Benjamin Franklin, Politician: The Mask & the Man by Francis Jennings, The New Criterion, February 1997