Fifty years later, Franklin could still recall its titles: Plutarch’s Lives (“which I read abundantly”), Daniel Defoe’s An Essay upon Projects, Cotton Mather’s Bonifacius: Essays to Do Good, and an assortment of “books in polemic divinity.”
By asking what seemed to be innocent questions, Franklin would draw people into making concessions that would gradually prove whatever point he was trying to assert. “I found this method the safest for myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used it; therefore, I took a delight in it.”
Among the few survivors was the American colonel George Washington, who had two horses shot out from under him and four bullets pierce his clothing.
Note: fancy!
And in his novel Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis belittled bourgeois values and civic boosterism.
Note: this is the author katie mentioned.