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Book Club

Date: Thursday, December 7, 2023
Time: 12 Noon to 1PM
Book: “Benjamin Franklin’s Last Bet” by Michael Meyer

About the Book Club: The State Library of Pennsylvania hosts a quarterly lunchtime book club open to state employees as well as to the public. The book club meets in the format of a virtual meeting. Attendees take part in conversations about the book moderated by Kathy Hale, Public Services Librarian Supervisor at the State Library of Pennsylvania. Share thoughts about the characters, plot, setting, and impact of the book with others who have read the book or any part of it.

About the book: At the end of Ben Franklin's illustrious life, the man allowed himself a final wager on the survival of the United States: a gift of two thousand pounds to Boston and Philadelphia, to be lent out to tradesmen over the next two centuries to jump-start their careers. Each loan would be repaid with interest over ten years. If all went according to Franklin's inventive scheme, the accrued final payout in 1991 would be a windfall.

In "Benjamin Franklin's Last Bet", Michael Meyer traces the evolution of these twin funds as they age alongside America itself, bankrolling woodworkers and silversmiths, trade schools and space races. Over time, Franklin's wager was misused, neglected, and contested - but never wholly extinguished.

This book may be borrowed from many Pennsylvania public libraries.

Commonwealth employees may complete the State Interlibrary loan to borrow this book.

State employees may also use EZborrow.

Please register with this form to participate.