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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Dover Thrift Editions) (original 1791; edition 1996)

by Benjamin Franklin

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4,388641,120 (3.78)82
Member:meldridge
Title:The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Dover Thrift Editions)
Authors:Benjamin Franklin
Info:Dover Publications (1996), Paperback, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:2012

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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (1791)

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English (63)  German (1)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
Although I frequently read non-fiction books, this would not be normally be one in which I was interested, but as a book club choice, I gave it a try. The writing is clear and, even with the 18th century spelling and sentence construction, easy to read. Ben Franklin clearly intended to write a full autobiography, since he gives a great deal of detail to his early life including his thoughts on character, religion, and economy. Though he was not schooled for more than 2 years, he read widely, taught himself 4 other languages, began a very successful printing business, began a newspaper, wrote frequently on issues he thought needed to be discussed, served many years in the General Assembly for Pennsylvania, organized and helped fund a local militia, began the first lending library in the United States, began a debate society that lasted his lifetime, served as the Postmaster General of the colonies, helped fund and build three forts for defense of the local populace from the Native Americans, discovered electricity, served as envoy to England for the General Assembly, and many, many other things. The real problem with this autobiography is that it ends far too soon, in 1759, before the Revolutionary War, his service in the Second Continental Congress, his service as Ambassador to France, and service as President of Pennsylvania. This was a man who could fairly state that he lived a full and valuable life. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Feb 20, 2016 |
Although it's sometimes slow due to Franklin's formality and older style of writing, I can't help but be blown over by the kinds of milestones Franklin continued to reach, even at a young age!! ( )
  bjoelle5 | Feb 10, 2016 |
Well I found out only in reading that it wasn't complete! That surprised me. The title really should be changed to 'The Unfinished...' or something similar.

Started off so well! An awesome insight into the path this god of industriousness took from adolescence to adulthood. The best part was his account of how he settled his printing business in Pennsylvania, and how he carried out his life in general at that time, and how he learned to deal with people. It petered off half way and became mainly an account of politics and goings-on, still with the backdrop of his ridiculous industriousness.

The first part was 5/5, but the the book is not coherent so 3/5. Looking forward to a biography ( )
  jculkin | Feb 1, 2016 |
Though the reading is a little rough at times due to an older style of English writing, I found myself entertained and impressed by this life account by Benjamin Franklin. He was a highly-accomplished man of greater wisdom than most. It was interesting to read how he came up with the ideas and then carried them through to form the first public library in Pennsylvania as well as a volunteer fire department and what you might call a handy 'road crew'. Not to mention vast public undertakings that were successful via his participation. What I especially enjoyed was his list of personal virtues--character traits he purposefully molded into himself to become a better husband, friend, neighbor, and individual. Benjamin Franklin was by choice a grand fellow. ( )
  REGoodrich | Nov 23, 2015 |
I first picked this book up along with a good binding of Poor Richard's Almanack quite some time ago but I didn't start reading it until after I heard about it from Christopher Hitchens in his collection, Arguably. Besides calling him the cleverest of the founding fathers, he also had seemingly unearthed new light on the downright humor of Benjamin Franklin. I didn't know a saying like "The Lord Helps Those Who Help Themselves" was in jest but after I heard that suddenly it made perfect sense. Sadly that and much of the rest of his famous proverbs are not included in this biography which has some humor in it but contrary to what Hitchens said is actually fairly straight forward and worse, a little on the unedifying side. This may be due to its incomplete state. Sure, some of it had some insight into what made the man so successful and for that I've awarded the score I did but it also gets into matters of state which I find to be boring. All in all not what Christopher Hitchens touts it to be or even what Franklin probably wanted it to be and therefore a disappointment. Stay for parts 1 and 2 but leave for parts 3 and 4, and wonder what the book would've looked like complete. As it is, it's just not enough. Of anything. ( )
  Salmondaze | Sep 26, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (86 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Benjamin Franklinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Franklin, Benjaminmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Appelbaum, StanleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bennett, James O'Donnellsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colby, Homer W.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dole, Nathan H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Labaree, Leonard W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leary, LewisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lemisch, L. JesseEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pine, Frank WoodworthEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sharp, WilliamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thurber, SamuelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Doren, CarlIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wayne, FreddNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wecter, DixonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ziff, LarzerEditor.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
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My writing.
Dear Son, --I have ever had pleasure in obtaining any little anecdotes of my ancestors.
Quotations
A stitch in time saves nine
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin", by Benjamin Franklin. Please do not combine with the Franklin/Woolman/Penn volume from The Harvard Classics.
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Haiku summary
A penny saved is
A penny earned, sayeth Poor
Richard. No stamp tax!
(bertilak)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486290735, Paperback)

One of the most popular works of American literature, this charming self-portrait has been translated into nearly every language. It covers Franklin's life up to his prewar stay in London as representative of the Pennsylvania Assembly, including his boyhood years, work as a printer, experiments with electricity, political career, much more.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:51 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

One of the most popular works of American literature, this charming self-portrait has been translated into nearly every language. It covers Franklin's life up to his prewar stay in London as representative of the Pennsylvania Assembly, including his boyhood years, work as a printer, experiments with electricity, political career, much more.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 17 descriptions

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Audible.com

21 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Yale University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300098588, 0300001479

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Editions: 1400101689, 1400108985

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