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

by Benjamin Franklin

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4,618721,034 (3.78)89
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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I listened to the autobiography via LibriVox.org. While I recognize that volunteers read the books, the narrator for this book would've been right at home on NPR.

Nevertheless, I quite enjoyed Franklin's autobiography. Although I've read much about the period, I was a bit worried that the language would be such that it might be difficult to follow. But this was not the case. Many of the anecdotes were quite humorous and certainly illuminating. Franklin was an amazing man.

The problem with the book is that he didn't cover anything beyond 1764 or so. This was disappointing to me as I expected to hear his thoughts on the 10-year period leading up to the Declaration of Independence, as well as his involvement in said document. I also wanted to hear, from his perspective, about his time in France. Maybe I should have already been aware of the period the book covered but I wasn't.

Regardless, I'd encourage you to read (or listen) to it as it reminds us that human nature doesn't change, but that every now and then along comes someone who breaks the mold. Franklin is clearly an example of this. ( )
  Jarratt | Jan 24, 2017 |
I'm not a big fan of biographies, but I feel like the useful advice offered within Franklin's life-story is deserving of some serious bonus points. So much of what he said was so motivating and makes me feel like I can achieve some previously unforeseen potential. ( )
  benuathanasia | Oct 27, 2016 |
Honestly, I was not reading this exact version of the Franklin's autobiography. In fact I was not reading at all. I was listening to the audio book. Which is generously provided by librovox. But, I downloaded it through archive.org. I find audio books very convenient when you are not learning something for the sake of understanding, but rather for the sake of familiarity with the subject. Although I can't say I completely missed the book. Quite the opposite I think. I woke up today at 2 p.m. fresh as never before, packed up some food and drinks in my back pack, uploaded the book to my MP3 and was ready to go. I had such a great time listening to this inspiring work of art while walking in the parks of my city for 7 and a half hours.
I liked this book a lot. This book is a succinct instruction to better way of living your life. Benjamin Franklin touches upon topic of his attempts to stick to vegetarianism which resonated with me a lot. Since many people before that, have been mentioning their improvement in health while switching to more moderate diet. I have never believed that before I tried myself. Now, I can assure that moderation in drinking and eating not only improves your health, but also leads to better cognitive abilities. While not getting to extreme, I mean I still eat meat and fish, controlling your diet leads to better life.
I draw many valuable lessons from the account of Franklin's life while at the same time I was greatly entertained by his narrative. I've learnt about his friends in early adolescence, who spent all money that he benevolently lent them on alcohol and never returned them back. Which Benjamin himself admits as "errata of my life". I've learnt that Benjamin had 12 siblings, immediate relatives, sons and daughters of his mother and seven more from the first wife of his father.
The fact that BF was studying constantly by reading inspires me a lot. Since I am a strong believer in education and true knowledge. Having no formal education myself his autobiography gives me motivation to keep up with my learning. As BF himself says in his book: "having no formal education myself I received honors from Yale and Oxford for my studies on the nature of electricity". Sounds just like Steve Jobs' story.
At last the part that touched bases with me most is when he describes how he started business with his subscription library. Where people could read the books while lending them for a small fee. How important that was for the literacy of the folks in town, which in its own place was greatly advantageous for the economy of the states. This small story describes how seemingly small and charitable projects can give a huge return on investment and could potentially be very profitable.
The whole book is sprinkled with dicta just like any story related to BF. Like, small things agglomerate to huge. (The story of nail, horse shoe and the lost battle). Like, early to bed early to rise. Like today is worth twice as much tomorrow. And the like.
Just as I said, greatly enjoyed today's walk in the park with a great book. ( )
  Anatoly1988 | Aug 19, 2016 |
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin was written in two sections, the first in 1771 and the second in 1778. The autobiography ends in 1757 and so never arrives at the American Revolution, but it still captures Franklin's wit and personality. Though he claims to write for his son's benefit, his adage on page 157 better sums up his goal: "That, as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously." Much like the advice doled out in Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanacks, the Autobiography serves as an example to his readers on how to live their lives. For those reading with an interest in history, Franklin's writing helps to capture the character of the time in which he lived, but is likely colored by nostalgia and memory. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jul 3, 2016 |
The first half is better than the second, but we all like our origin stories. ( )
  Peter_Scissors | Jun 21, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (86 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Benjamin Franklinprimary authorall editionscalculated
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
First words
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 15 descriptions

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Audible.com

22 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

Library of America Paperback Classics

An edition of this book was published by Library of America Paperback Classics.

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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400101689, 1400108985

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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