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Author of Benjamin Franklin book to speak Oct. 6 at Appalachian

BOONE—Benjamin Franklin has always been an interesting character in American history, and a new book discloses just how fascinating he was.

Kenneth Penegar, a distinguished law professor and former law school dean, will talk about his book, “The Political Trial of Benjamin Franklin – A Prelude to the American Revolution,” Oct. 6 at 3:30 p.m. at Appalachian State University’s Belk Library and Information Commons Room 421.

A reception will follow. Parking will be available in the deck on College Street. For more information contact Lynn Patterson at 828-262-2087.

The book focuses on Franklin’s decision in late 1772 to reveal a cache of personal letters in Massachusetts that had fallen into his possession while in London – essentially an early Wikileaks – and the consequences of that decision.

“No longer will we picture Benjamin Franklin as a man flying a kite or making a stove, but rather a human being, flawed and magnificent, who almost causes a deadly duel and who finds himself scorned and disgraced and in imminent danger of arrest and imprisonment,” said one reviewer. Another noted that the book “…has all the elements of a seductive mystery story.”

Penegar grew up in Gastonia. He earned undergraduate and law degrees at UNC Chapel Hill. He has taught at UNC and Southern Methodist University. He served as dean of the College of Law at the University of Tennessee for 15 years. His articles have been published in a variety of law reviews and journals and some have been reprinted as chapters of books on criminal law and ethics.