All those ancedotes which Fleming used so effectively in his older biography (see p. 1248, J-432) lose their characteristic Franklinesque flavor when reconstructed here into gee-whiz dialogue. Franklin's talent for impromptu invention is stressed (as per ""that Ben Franklin. . . he's always trying something new""), but his equally amazing, though less dramatic, capacity for hard work is glossed over. And his out-of-wedlock son William is, by inference, legitimized as the child of his wife Deborah. The oversize format assigns undue prominence to Jacobson's workaday illustrations, and the reproductions of contemporary portraits seem oddly formal in contrast to Stein's casual prose. In short, the style, content and format don't quite hang together -- and none of them is worthy of hanging separately.