The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin



Inventor, Author, Printer, Scientist, Politician, Diplomat All These Terms Do Not Even Begin To Fully Describe The Amazing And Multitalented, Benjamin Franklin Who Was Of Course Also One Of The Founding Fathers Of America At The Age Of 75, In 1771 He Began Work On What He Called His Memoirs He Was Still Working On It When He Died In 1790 And It Was Published Posthumously, Entitled An Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin The Book Had A Complicated And Controversial Publication History Strangely Enough, The First Volume Only Was First Published In French, In Paris In 1791 Later In 1793 A Couple Of English Translations Appeared Containing The Second Volume As Well In 1818 Franklin S Grandson Brought Out A Three Volume Edition, Which Left Out The Last Unfinished Fourth Volume William Temple Franklin Also Took Great Liberties With The Text And Made His Own Revisions However, In 1868, Publisher John Bigelow Purchased The Original And Complete Manuscript And Brought Out The Most Complete Edition So Far The 20th Century Saw Several Scholars Bring Out Definitive And Complete Versions An Autobiography Was Written Apparently To Apprise His Son About The Events Of His Life And Also Meant To Be A Treatise That Would Lead To The Self Betterment Of The Younger Generation As A Book, It Is A Difficult And Complex Read The Tone Is Often Meandering, Arrogant And Condescending In Turn And Does Not Have A Consistent Feel Written Over An Extended Time Period, There Are Large Gaps In Sequence And Often The Author Contradicts His Own Recounting Of Events In Fact, It Ends Abruptly, Without A Shred Of Information About Franklin S Seminal Role In The American Revolution Yet, Two Centuries After Its Debut, It Remains Widely Read And Acclaimed, Valued For Its Being Almost The First Autobiography To Have Been Written In English Its Extensive Advice On How To Go About Achieving A List Of Virtues Is Probably The First Ever Self Help Book As A Glimpse Of Life In 18th Century America, It Is Unrivaled An Autobiography Also Provides Readers With The Immense Possibilities That The New World Holds A Poor Middleclass Youth, One Of 10 Children, Whose Parents Could Hardly Afford To Send Him To School, Who Attains Learning And Honest Employment By Dint Of Sheer Hard Work Can Even Today Be Said To Represent The American Dream With The Publication Of An Autobiography It Was Possible For This New And Emerging Superpower To Establish A History And Tradition Of Its Own As A Slice Of History, An Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin Is Indeed An Interesting And Riveting Read.The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was a writer, a philosopher, a scientist, a politician, a patriot, a Founding Father, an inventor, and publisher He helped with the founding of the United States of America and changed the world with his discoveries about electricity His writings such as Poor Richards Almanac have provided wisdom for 17 years to the colonies.

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10 thoughts on “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

  1. says:

    there will be sleeping enough in the grave Benjamin FranklinEven in death, I can t imagine Franklin resting There is always just too much to do, too many questions to ask, too many books to read, too much to explore My brother recommended this book to me about 30 years ago I m not sure why I never read it until now Part of it must be the feeling that Benjamin Franklin would always just be there He wasn t going anywhere He seems to permeate so much of what it means to be an American and is an essential part our shared historical map His autobiography, which is divided into two parts, ends in 1757 So all of the Revolutionary War Franklin and Continental Congress Franklin is obviously missing These are his early years It is a portrait of a polymath as a young man It shows his curiosity, his work ethic, his creativity, his risk taking, his bridge building All the things that would later be used as part of the myth making around Franklin After reading this autobiography, I kinda agree with Christopher Hitchen s take about the role of Benjamin Franklin as the Socrates of his day Franklin was also the main man He was drafted onto the committee that drew up the Declaration and may well have been the one who imposed the ringing term self evident, as against the pompous sacred and undeniable in its crucial opening stave When George Washington s horse bore him into Philadelphia for th...

  2. says:

    This is a curious little book As an autobiography it suffers from the fact that it leaves out nearly all of the most interesting parts of Franklin s life This is a bit like reading an autobiography of John Lennon that ends a few years before he meets Paul McCartney I m not saying there is no interest in what is here, but any sort of version of such a man s life that ends well short of the American Revolution is than a little heart breaking.There are very amusing parts of this particularly around how he sought to improve himself both morally, through a thirteen step plan, and as a writer In fact, as advice to a young writer this book offers some wonderful advice He would read what he considered to be well written articles and then, a day or two later, would try to re compose them, as accurately as possible, from memory Then he would go back to the original article and compare his effort with that As he persisted with this strategy he would sometimes find he had improved on the original, making the ordering of the points raised logical or find...

  3. says:

    The charm and pleasure of this book, for me, is that it is not about the famous Benjamin Franklin, the inventor and one of the fathers of the American Revolution, but that it is about the young Franklin about his education and apprenticeship as a printer to his brother, about his love of books and his determination to improve his writing skills, about how he uprooted himself from his birthplace and family and moved to Philadelphia, and began a business there He meets rogues and swindlers, has unexpected fortune both good and ill, and eventually prospers through his own cleverness and industry The first half of the book and parts of the second half is as entertaining as any novel.I especially like what it reveals about early and mid 18th century America and its inhabitants The journey from Boston to Philadelphia was far different in those days The way he talks about men being bred to their various professions is fascinating, as is his discussion of religious beliefs and doctrines of the time And it s so interesting to see the workings of the pre Revolutionary government, in which each colony...

  4. says:

    Man oh man, that dude had some mad skills This book is written somewhat sloppily changing narrative styles throughout, carrying on from time to time, and not even finishing it but the content is truly amazing Why didn t I learn in school about how awesome Ben Franklin was In addition to his kite flying escapade, he invented a better type of wood burning furnace, and a better street lamp He created the first public university in America U Penn , helped create one of the first public hospitals, and came up with the idea for the first fire department, and the first public library His main profession was a printer and newspaper man which served him well in marketing many of his projects , but he also served as a colonel, a postmaster general, and an assemblyman His career is just astounding Also it ...

  5. says:

    Dr Benjamin Franklin is the embodiment of Thomas Edison s Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration He came from a poor family His sensible father was of good character Dr Franklin was a deist What God has given man, he purposefully, methodically, and continually used to improve himself A self driven independent thinker, he endeavored to improve, not only mentally and financially, but morally He did it for his own sake, and the fruits became the glory of mankind Dr Franklin resolved to practice virtues every moment He said he was not so successful in some, e.g Order, but his ambitious efforts did him well Some in the list, e.g humility, were purposed to conquer his natural inclinations It is clear from his depictions of his practice of humility that he did not mean self abasement nor self negation he practiced diplomacy He said about humility I cannot boast of much success in acquiring the reality of this virtue, but I had a good deal about the appearance of it In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our nat...

  6. says:

    Ben Franklin did it all He was an incredible self made human Why wouldn t someone want to read about him The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is fairly short and to the point It took a while to come to grips with Franklin s olde timey speech, but once I got up to speed or slowed down with it, I really started to enjoy his walk down memory lane He was a natural storyteller Seriously, was there anything this dude couldn t do Not only was he industrious, but he made an admirable moral compass, without being overly pious or self righteous He might have had to learn modesty, but considering his success and obvious intelligence not to mention some of the buffoons he was surrounded by it s a wonder he didn t constantly show up his contemporaries He details his change in speech, reducing definitive statements, in order to avoid shame and embarrassment for both arguing parties He is forthcoming in this way, just as he is generous in his inventions When they could have made him a fortune, he would not take out a patent, thus allowing the less fortunate and society as a whole to benefit.It was a pleasure to reacquaint myself with this man s wisdom Once upon a time Americans models their behavior on his proverbs, etc as set down in Poor Richard s Almanac Example Franklin relates losing a 4 year old son to small pox, r...

  7. says:

    This is a wonderfully inspiring Read It s a small book packed with great insights into virtuous living His curiosity and observation of the world around him lead him to live an amazingly full life in which he accomplished much for the good of mankind ...

  8. says:

    I read this book as a teenager and was so captivated that I tried Franklin s scheme of cultivating the virtues, probably with only marginal success It was fun to reacquaint myself with the work Franklin first of all affirms that he would live his life over again unchanged, were he given the opportunity Compare this with Nietzsche s assertion that such would be repugnant to most men Thus one can see that Franklin was essentially a content and optimistic man This book is a candid and non florid account of his development from a poor and ignorant child to a success in many fields In this respect he is not reluctant to admit his failures, his misjudgments and follies He had a fair amount of good luck, too, particularly with respect to helpful people being drawn to him and recognizing his talents Franklin s style is not highly literary but almost reportorial And his presentation is quintessentially secular, with almost none of the pious or even sanctimonious rhetoric associated with such contemporaries as Jonathan Edwards in this sense he comes across as very modern, thus increasing his relevance for readers today Franklin affirms his Deism, his rejection of divine revelation, and his essential...

  9. says:

    In the summer of 1771, while he was living in a country home in England, Benjamin Franklin began an autobiography that he was destined to never finish He prepared an outline of a final section that he did not complete, but the four parts that he did finish represent one of the seminal documents of the enlightenment He was a statesman, an author, an inventor, a scientist, a printer, and the list goes on and on when describing Benjamin Franklin As an autobiographer he also demonstrated his genius as he reinvented the genre and the result is a classic By focusing on his own self invention the narrator of the autobiography broke with the previous models of this type of writing and provided a way for America to imagine itself Reading this work is both useful and inspirational Undoubtedly that was intended for the author demonstrated a practicality in everything he did in his long life The book also demonstrates a secular character that differs from some of the earlier classics such as Augustine s Confessions For those who love reading his description of the founding of the first lending library is a perfect example of how he led his life, and he determined from this experience that the best way to promote a project was to remain in the background, avoiding self promotion I therefore put my self as much as I could out of sight, and stated it as a Scheme of a Number of Friends, who had requested me to go about and prop...

  10. says:

    Benjamin Franklin s autobiography is perfect except for one thing, its only half finished Franklin was prevented from completing it, by becoming involved in the American Revolution.Later going as a diplomat to Paris, to get French help.Born in Boston in 1706, to Josiah Franklin and his wife Abiah A good student in his youth but the family lacked the money to send him to college His father was a candle maker and Benjamin after many false starts became an apprentice to his brother James in the printing business.At the age of 11 he was an indentured servant, a virtual slave, no pay ,just room and board.Learning quickly and he even began writing articles for his brother s newspaper, the New England Courant.Fleeing at 17, first to New York and than Philadelphia from James s harsh treatment.Meeting a man named Keimer in Philadelphia, Franklin returned to printing.After years of hard work the future statesman became very successful.A common law marriage to Sarah Re...

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