Thursday, August 29, 2002

The Legacy of Benjamin Franklin

Randall Kennedy appeared yesterday on what is quickly becoming my favorite radio talk show, On Point. The topic tonight was Walter Isaacson's new book, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. Kennedy wanted to talk about Franklin's participation in the slave trade, but the guest host pressed Kennedy on another topic. Here is my rough transcription of the broadcast:

Host: Do you see something in Ben Franklin that still resonates today?

Kennedy: Sure. For one thing, he clearly was entrepreneurial. He was an entrepreneur himself, and he was a supporter of entrepreneurial values. That's certainly one of the central values in American life. And, indeed, American's have exported entrepreneurial values around the world.

By the way, the regular host of On Point is Tom Ashbrook, who wrote a nice book about his experience founding, which still exists. Quite an accomplishment for any dot-com! The book is called The Leap, and prospective entrepreneurs -- especially those who are considering the possibility of leaving a stable job -- would be well advised to read it.