The American Revolution was a civil war as well as a war for independence. The experience of Benjamin Franklin and his son, William, royal governor of New Jersey, reveals America's internal struggle over the question of loyalty to England. A collection of letters accompanies Sheila Skemp's narrative of the two men, bonded by blood, divided by political cause.
We smirk or tut-tut at such scandals as gay children of our presidents, often unaware that the Founding Fathers had closets of their own. Ben Franklin's son William, remaining loyal to the British crown, was the last royal governor of New Jersey. Skemp delves not so much into the relationship between the two as into their different personal backgrounds and political experiences as an illustration of the variety of opinions and issues that led to the Revolution. She includes eight primary documents, a chronology, and questions for students to ponder. Usable as a week-long assignment in an undergraduate course, and a brief read for armchair historians. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)