Academic journal article Language Arts

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France

Academic journal article Language Arts

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France

Article excerpt

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France Written by Mara Rockliff Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno Candlewick, 2015, 45 pp., ISBN 978-0-7636-6351-3

When you hear about a new drug coming to market after a clinical trial, Ben Franklin's visage probably does not come to mind. Certainly, Franklin is known for his many inventions, such as bifocal glasses, the odometer, and the lightning rod. But interestingly enough, we also have him to thank for the "blind" test process still used in medicine today. This legacy is just one of the many historical tidbits offered in Mesmerized.

Franklin, while in France to persuade the French to support the American Revolution, witnesses the arrival of Dr. Franz Mesmer, who has blazed a path across Europe curing people with a magical "force" invisible to the eye. The French people are in awe. French doctors are enraged. The king, Louis XVI, is puzzled. Franklin is soon tasked with solving the mystery: is Mesmer's invisible force real? …

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