Eric Weiner at Harvard Book Store

presenting

Ben & Me:
In Search of a Founder's Formula
for a Long and Useful Life

in conversation with DANIEL GILBERT

Date

Jul
1
Monday
July 1, 2024
7:00 PM ET

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes ERIC WEINER—former international correspondent for NPR and author of The Geography of Bliss—for a discussion of his latest book Ben & Me: In Search of a Founder's Formula for a Long and Useful Life. He will be joined in conversation by DANIEL GILBERT—New York Times bestselling author of Stumbling on Happiness and Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University.

About Ben & 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.

Praise for Ben & Me

“A warm combination of homage and introspective memoir . . . Franklin still inspires, with a lifelong ‘sense of wonder,’ respect for virtue, and lively curiosity.” —Kirkus Reviews

“As Benjamin Franklin would say, ‘There is nothing so improving to the mind, soul, heart, and funny bone as another book from the sharp quill of Eric Weiner.’” —Christopher Buckley, author of Has Anyone Seen My Toes?

Daniel Gilbert
Daniel Gilbert

Daniel Gilbert

Daniel Gilbert is the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and a winner of the Association for Psychological Science’s William James Award for “a lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology.”

His popular book, Stumbling on Happiness, spent 6 months on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold more than a million copies worldwide, has been translated into more than 40 languages, and was awarded the Royal Society’s General Book Prize for best science book of the year. He is the host and co-writer of the award-winning NOVA television series This Emotional Life which was seen by more than 10 million viewers in its first airing. His three TED talks have more than 30 million views, and his first TED talk remains one of the most popular of all time.

Eric Weiner
Eric Weiner

Eric Weiner

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.

Photo Credit: Bill O'Leary

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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