Growing up in school we probably each learned a bit about Ben Franklin, perhaps what he did with a kite and a key with some lightning, perhaps his great state work to sure up funds and allies for the American Revolution, or perhaps his religious beliefs as a deist. With all these things in mind it might be surprising to think of his longest lasting and most formidable friendships was with the great evangelist and preacher George Whitefield. This friendship is the focal point of the book “The Printer and The Preacher” by Randy Peterson.
Throughout this book, Peterson reveals the story of these two colonial leaders and the effects that their relationship and friendship had on the future nation that became the United States of America. We see how their unique upbringings and family dynamics affected who they would become. As well, we see the stark contrasts that exist between these two great thinkers and are given the opportunity to witness the way each man responded in moments of triumph and hardship.
This book consistently draws back to the core differences between their views on faith in Jesus and displays well how both men implemented this into their lives and service to society.
The only con that could be stated about this book is its high degree of speculation into their lives, feelings, and actions. Peterson consistently fills in the blanks by painting a picture into their lives and friendship that very well may be completely off base. Thankfully, he always reveals the speculative nature of his assertions by using statements such as “he very well may have been” or “perhaps it could.”
As a whole this book shed light into a little known friendship that had a great deal of impact on our nation.