07-01-21

13hrs 42min

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Genre

Nonfiction/History

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07-01-21

13hrs 42min

Abridgement

Other

Genre

Nonfiction/History

Description

“Exceptionally well written, organized, and presented…An extraordinary and welcome contribution to community, college, and university libraries.” Midwest Book Reviews

An Audie Award Finalist for Best History/Biography Narration
Nominee for the Voice Arts Award for Best History Voiceover
An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year
Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

An Audiobook Original

There is no dearth of writings about the founding of America, but in this under-reported and under-taught story of the American Revolution, light is shed on the role Benjamin Franklin played in bringing the northern and southern colonies together against corrupt British rule. Along with an “Inner Circle” of British Abolitionists, Franklin worked behind the scenes to secure the freedom of a single American slave, James Somersett; and then, in cooperation with a vast network of colonial allies, set in motion a series of events that provided the impetus for northern patriots and politically cautious southern slaveholders to join forces.

In 1757, Benjamin Franklin cared most about the security and prosperity of his beloved adopted home of Philadelphia. Threatened by the French during King George’s War and with little help from the proprietors of Pennsylvania, the hated Penn family, Franklin sought assistance and support in London to no avail, thus leading him to develop a secret plan to gain freedom from Great Britain for Pennsylvania, and ultimately all the colonies. The success of this plot would hinge upon politically motivating the northern and southern colonies, each with vastly different interests. In the end, it was two unrelated historical events: that of the freeing of the slave Somersett in London’s highest court; and the discovery, and leaking of, the Hutchinson letters, that turned the tide in favor of independence.

Part courtroom drama, part political thriller, this assiduously researched work of American history is enacted by a cast of award-winning actors who electrify the drama as they bring to life over thirty historical characters in intermittent scenes presented in stage play form. In the London Courtroom of King’s Bench, we meet the most brilliant legal minds of the era as both sides argue their case for or against Somersett’s manumission. In the drawing room of London’s most prestigious physician, John Fothergill, we are witness to Franklin and the members of his Inner Circle as they grapple with, and meet, the massive challenges that planning a revolution entail.

Here is a critically important, little known story that adds to our understanding of yet another complicated founding father. By laying out Franklin’s audacious plan to convince southern slaveholders that revolution, and only revolution, was sufficient to ensure their right to chattel labor, we are offered further evidence that the ugly stain of racism and slavery is embedded in every moment of our history.

Praise

“Exceptionally well written, organized, and presented…An extraordinary and welcome contribution to community, college, and university libraries.” Midwest Book Reviews

“With a sense of unbound curiosity, narrator Robert Petkoff narrates this fascinating account…[And] a 1772 judgment by the Earl of Mansfield [is] voiced with perfect British authority by Simon Jones…Essential listening. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile

“Goodrich blends meticulously researched history with imaginatively rendered scenes and conversations…[in] a fascinating narrative about lesser-known events that sparked the American Revolution.” Blueink (starred review)

“In concise, crisp chapters…Goodrich offers general readers an engrossing, well-written narrative history full of rich details.” Kirkus Reviews

“Goodrich’s well-written, well-researched, somewhat folksy narrative history reads like a thriller…Even those who think they know the details of Franklin’s life and the seeds of the Revolutionary War will learn something new in this book.” HistoryNet

“Somersett shines a bright light on events little known but tremendously important in the formative period of our nation’s history.”  Stephen Hornbostel, retired editor of the San Francisco Chronicle

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Details
More Information
Language English
Release Day Jun 30, 2021
Release Date July 1, 2021
Release Date Machine 1625097600
Imprint Phillip Goodrich
Provider Phillip Goodrich
Categories Book Club Favorites, History, Americas
Author Bio
Phillip Goodrich

Phillip Goodrich, a practicing general surgeon and American history enthusiast, has developed a fascination with the lesser-told tales of America’s founding years. His interest has led him to extensive research into the personal and political lives of American greats. Visit PhilGoodrichAuthor.com.

Narrator Bio
Phillip Goodrich

Phillip Goodrich, a practicing general surgeon and American history enthusiast, has developed a fascination with the lesser-told tales of America’s founding years. His interest has led him to extensive research into the personal and political lives of American greats. Visit PhilGoodrichAuthor.com.

Robert Petkoff

Robert Petkoff is an actor and audiobook narrator who has won a prestigious Audie Award and multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards. He has appeared on Chappelle’s Show, Law & Order, and Quantum Leap. His Broadway credits include Sir Robin in Spamalot, Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof, and Tateh in Ragtime.

Nicola Barber

Nicola Barber, is an Audie Award and Earphones Award-winning narrator whose voice can be heard in television and radio commercials and popular video games such as World of Warcraft. She is also an Audie finalist in the prestigious category of solo female narrationfor her work on Murphy’s Law by Rhys Bowen and Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth. She has performed on the stage in New York City and at a number of top regional theaters in the United States. Her film and television roles include The Nanny Diaries with Scarlett Johansson, and Law & Order’s 2009 season premiere. Originally from England, she currently resides in New York, a multicultural background that enables her to bring a broad range of accents and characterizations to her role as a full-time voice-over actor.

Simon Jones

Simon Jones is an English actor and award-winning audiobook narrator. Besides winning many AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration, he has won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, including for top prize of Audiobook of the Year. He was named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine and as “Narrator of the Year” in 2005 by Publishers Weekly. As an actor, he has been featured in numerous Broadway productions and has appeared in the films The Devil’s Own, Twelve Monkeys, For Love or Money, Green Card, Brazil, Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, and Miracle on 34th Street remake. His television appearances include a role in The Cosby Mysteries and Murder She Wrote. He studied at Cambridge University and the legendary Cambridge Footlights Dramatic Club.

Joe Morton

Joe Morton is a winner of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards for audiobook narration. A graduate of Hofstra University’s drama program, he has an extensive list of film and television credits, including Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Speed, Smallville, and Eureka. He made his Broadway debut in Hair and was nominated for a Tony Award for the musical Raisin. In 2014 he received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his work on Scandal.

Euan Morton

Euan Morton is an Earphones Award–winning narrator. As an actor and singer, he is best known for his role as Boy George in the musical Taboo, which earned him a Laurence Olivier Award nomination. He reprised the role on Broadway, earning him the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut, as well as nominations for the ony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama League awards. His other stage performances include Leaves of Glass, Sondheim on Sondheim, and Cyrano De Bergerac.

Overview

An Audie Award Finalist for Best History/Biography Narration
Nominee for the Voice Arts Award for Best History Voiceover
An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year
Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

An Audiobook Original

There is no dearth of writings about the founding of America, but in this under-reported and under-taught story of the American Revolution, light is shed on the role Benjamin Franklin played in bringing the northern and southern colonies together against corrupt British rule. Along with an “Inner Circle” of British Abolitionists, Franklin worked behind the scenes to secure the freedom of a single American slave, James Somersett; and then, in cooperation with a vast network of colonial allies, set in motion a series of events that provided the impetus for northern patriots and politically cautious southern slaveholders to join forces.

In 1757, Benjamin Franklin cared most about the security and prosperity of his beloved adopted home of Philadelphia. Threatened by the French during King George’s War and with little help from the proprietors of Pennsylvania, the hated Penn family, Franklin sought assistance and support in London to no avail, thus leading him to develop a secret plan to gain freedom from Great Britain for Pennsylvania, and ultimately all the colonies. The success of this plot would hinge upon politically motivating the northern and southern colonies, each with vastly different interests. In the end, it was two unrelated historical events: that of the freeing of the slave Somersett in London’s highest court; and the discovery, and leaking of, the Hutchinson letters, that turned the tide in favor of independence.

Part courtroom drama, part political thriller, this assiduously researched work of American history is enacted by a cast of award-winning actors who electrify the drama as they bring to life over thirty historical characters in intermittent scenes presented in stage play form. In the London Courtroom of King’s Bench, we meet the most brilliant legal minds of the era as both sides argue their case for or against Somersett’s manumission. In the drawing room of London’s most prestigious physician, John Fothergill, we are witness to Franklin and the members of his Inner Circle as they grapple with, and meet, the massive challenges that planning a revolution entail.

Here is a critically important, little known story that adds to our understanding of yet another complicated founding father. By laying out Franklin’s audacious plan to convince southern slaveholders that revolution, and only revolution, was sufficient to ensure their right to chattel labor, we are offered further evidence that the ugly stain of racism and slavery is embedded in every moment of our history.

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