It should be a verb – defuse your enemies by Ben Franklining them

The trouble is, that looks like frank lining. Like you’re really serious about the inset seam on your jacket.

But Ben Franklin, as in this fella, had enemies and he defused them. Maybe not all, but certainly his greatest. There was this one guy and…

Franklin set out to turn his hater into a fan, but he wanted to do it without “paying any servile respect to him.” Franklin’s reputation as a book collector and library founder gave him a standing as a man of discerning literary tastes, so Franklin sent a letter to the hater asking if he could borrow a specific selection from his library, one that was a “very scarce and curious book.” The rival, flattered, sent it right away. Franklin sent it back a week later with a thank-you note. Mission accomplished. The next time the legislature met, the man approached Franklin and spoke to him in person for the first time. Franklin said the man “ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.”

The Benjamin Franklin Effect –

That quote is from David McRaney’s book  You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself. Maria Popova’s article is, typically for that site, partly a review of the book but partly an examination of topics it raises. There’s a great deal more in the article and, natch, even more in the book. Here’s the article and here’s the UK edition of the book, here’s the US edition.