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Eric Weiner: "Ben and Me"

Ben Franklin lingers in our lives and in our imaginations. One of only two non-presidents to appear on US currency, Franklin was a founder, statesman, scientist, inventor, diplomat, publisher, humorist, and philosopher. He believed in the American experiment, but Ben Franklin’s greatest experiment was…Ben Franklin. In that spirit of betterment, Eric Weiner embarks on an ambitious quest to live the way Ben lived.

Not a conventional biography, Ben & Me is a guide to living and thinking well, as Ben Franklin did. It is also about curiosity, diligence, and, most of all, the elusive goal of self-improvement. As Weiner follows Franklin from Philadelphia to Paris, Boston to London, he attempts to uncover Ben’s life lessons, large and small. We learn how to improve a relationship with someone by inducing them to do a favor for you—a psychological phenomenon now known as The Ben Franklin Effect. We learn about the printing press (the Internet of its day), early medicine, diplomatic intrigue and, of course, electricity. And we learn about ethics, persuasion, humor, regret, appetite, and so much more.

At a time when history is either neglected or contested, Weiner argues we have much to learn from the past and that we’d all be better off if we acted and thought a bit more like Ben did, even if he didn’t always live up to his own high ideals. Engaging, smart, moving, quirky, Ben & Me distills the essence of Franklin’s ideas into grounded, practical wisdom for all of us.

About the Author: 

Eric Weiner is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Geography of Bliss (now a docu-series featuring Rainn Wilson) and The Geography of Genius, as well as the critically acclaimed Man Seeks God and The Socrates Express. A former international correspondent for NPR, his work has appeared in The Atlantic, National Geographic, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and the anthology Best American Travel Writing. He lives with his family and a menagerie of animals in the Washington, D.C. area. For more information, visit: EricWeinerBooks.com.

About the Program: 

  • Registration opens on Monday, May 13 at 12pm. 
  • This FREE event will be presented in-person and virtually.   
  • To attend in person please register here.
  • Doors will open to registered attendees at 6 pm. 
  • Free parking vouchers are available to program attendees who park at the Franklin Street Garage (15 W. Franklin Street) after 4pm.  Ask Pratt event staff for your parking voucher prior to or after the program.

Virtual Meeting Information

There is no registration required for virtual attendance, simply visit the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Facebook or Youtube page. 

Tuesday, July 2 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Central Library, Poe Reading Room
400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Event Type

Writers LIVE!, Virtual Event

Age Group

Adults

Compass Category

Writers LIVE at the Library

Event Publisher

Cleve Corner, Manager of Speaker & Author Engagement

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