I have to recommend the book, "The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin." Like many people, I thought I knew about Ben Franklin and what contribution he made to the new country of America but I was bowled over by the depth of this biography and just how long it took Franklin to get on board the "independence!" train.
I learned how well-respected he was overseas and disdained here, and why Benjamin Franklin became the standard bearer, the definition, as it were, of what being an American really means. It is Frankin's legend that drew immigrants then, as it does today.
Anyone who doesn't believe that America is unique in all of history should spend time with "The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin."