Life of Franklin Focus of Next A.R. Sánchez Lecture at TAMIU

Those interested in knowing about the interests and passion of Benjamin Franklin are invited to the third installment of the 2002-2003 A.R. Sánchez Distinguished Lecture Series scheduled Thursday, March 6 at 7 p.m. in Texas A&M International University's Student Center Ballroom.

The featured speaker, Dr. H.W. Brands, distinguished professor of history and Melbern G. Glasscock Chair in American History at Texas A&M University, will lecture on "Virtue for Fun and Profit: Benjamin Franklin's Secrets of Success."

Dr. Brands' book, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times bestseller, and a Main Selection for the Book of the Month Club.

Brands' acclaimed text is considered the first comprehensive biography of Franklin in over 60 years. In it, he vividly brings to life one of the most delightful, bawdy, original and important figures in American history.

Franklin taught himself to write effectively, founded the Pennsylvania Gazette (1730-48) and wrote Poor Richard's Almanack (1732-57). He became prosperous and promoted public services in Philadelphia, including a library, fire department, hospital, and insurance company, and an academy that became the University of Pennsylvania.

His inventions included the Franklin stove and bifocal spectacles, and his experiments in electricity led to the invention of the lightning rod.

He served as a member of the Colonial Legislature, a delegate to the Albany Congress and negotiated a treaty that provided loans and military support for the Revolution. He is regarded as one of the most extraordinary and brilliant public servants in U.S. history.

Brands is the author of 16 books including the provocative The Strange Death of American Liberalism, Since Vietnam: The United States in World Affairs, 1973-1995 and Into the Labyrinth: The United States and the Middle East, 1945-1993.

His latest book, the Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and The American Dream, was published by Doubleday and Company in August. In it, Brands chronicles one of the most compelling periods of American history and how it permanently reshaped the American landscape.

Brands holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas at Austin. He also holds an M.A. in liberal studies from Reed College and an M.S. in mathematics from Portland State University. His B.A. in history was earned at Stanford University. At A&M, he is coordinator of the History of the Americas Program (HARP).

For further information, please contact the College of Arts and Humanities at 326-2460 or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 429.

University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at