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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Dover Thrift Editions) [Print] [Paperback]

Benjamin Franklin
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 7, 1996 0486290735 978-0486290737 New edition
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.

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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Dover Thrift Editions) + Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Dover Thrift Editions) + The Scarlet Letter (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; New edition edition (June 7, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486290735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486290737
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
168 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening and Written in the Style of the Times April 10, 2001
This "Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin" does not contain the type of finished material one has come to expect in a finished coherent autobiographical writing covering the whole life span of the individual written by single author over a continuous period of time. This is really source material partially written over distinctly separate periods of time wherein the author, Benjamin Franklin, wrote on two different continents without access to the other parts of his text. With that said, I still think that this book is a wonderful and enlightening piece of work. It should, in my opinion, be considered for placement in every high school and college library, and it should perhaps be wise to consider it for required reading in those institutions. The book tells of the life and times in which Mr. Franklin lived, the attitudes of the colonists and of the British and the ways that things were accomplished in colonial America. It is truly amazing to me to hear first hand how a single individual with only two years of formal education can educate himself as this man did and to rise to make such truly great contributions to society, science, engineering, and politics. I highly recommend this book.
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121 of 124 people found the following review helpful
Franklin wrote this autobiography as a letter of instruction in the ways of the world to his youthful and illegitimate son of 40. It only covers the first half or so of his incredible life, so the things that really made him well-known are not covered, but there is plenty here anyway.
Franklin recounts his family's modest life in England and the circumstances that brought them to Boston. He was among the youngest of a very large family, ultimately finding his way to Philadelphia to find work as a printer when an apprenticeship with an older brother turned sour.
We always think of Franklin as being a slightly older statesman among the Founding Fathers, when in fact he was a full generation older than Washington or Jefferson. Unlike popular perception, he was an athletic and vibrant youth, who rescued a drowning Dutch companion and taught swimming to children of London's elite.
Philadelphia in the 1720's and 1730's was a small town, never sure if it would really take off as a settlement. Franklin quickly befriended key politicians who felt Philadelphia had grown sufficiently to have a world-class print shop. He played a key role in the town's development, leading civic groups in establishing libraries, fire companies, meeting halls, and street cleaning services. Of course, he was also the consummate politician, serving in office, and networking his way to his first fortune by publishing government documents and printing the first paper currency. He also had a knack for working with the several important religious sects of that time and place, especially the pacifist Quakers, even though Franklin was a deist.
Franklin was a clever businessman.
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117 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gives you just enough to want more... November 17, 2000
By A Customer
The book is divided into four parts, and is ultimately unfinished; that is the largest disappointment you will find as you read the last sentance. However, the book gives you a true feel for the life and times this great man lived through. The writing is very arbitrary, almost (but not quite) stream-of-conscious, and anecdotal, but enjoyable. Another disappointment is the lack of discussion of the American Revolution and his role in it. But it did give me the desire to read more of this amazing individual, and renewed my sense of pride in my country, as well as its interesting history. Read this book as a beginning, with expectations of it taking your mind to a different level of interest...
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living On Purpose, On Purpose -- And having fun too! September 6, 2000
This book came to me based on a recommendation by Anthony Robbins in his book "Awaken the Giant Within." And upon reading it, it occurs to me how many gurus have built on, or simply stolen, Ben Franklin's ideas for living a life with purpose, on purpose. (Cheers to Robbins for identifying his mentors and sources so openly.) "The Autobiography of Ben Franklin" is a quick easy read with many rewards. Learn about the man, discover the seed of modern self-help ideas, and see America though a unique set of eyes.
About the writing. . . When Franklin took pen to paper his motivation was to share ideas with his son. In other words, he was writing a letter, and what a joy that it survived as a letter to each of us. Enjoy this book as insights offered by a dynamic individual. And, have the flexibility to enjoy writing that certainly isn't in the pop-culture mold of our century. I myself found this refreshing! If you like ideas and value the role mentors can play in our lives, then read this book today.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin February 13, 2001
Far from a "boring read", Franklin's work gives an unique insight into the 18th century working class people. Much that has been written about Franklin is absolute rubbish. His autobiography puts the man in real perspective. Granted he was a bit self centered and, at times, self congradulating, but his accomplishments were many. His wit is often stinging. I was surprised to read about his military activities and yet he was influenced by the Quakers. It's also significant that he talks of his belief in the deity and the fact that he was a presbetyrian. Many "revisionist historians" claim that Franklin was an atheist. This certainly suggests otherwise. Franklin will always be controversial, but never "dull". Another book to peruse is titled FART PROUDLY, also a Franklin work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really Inspiring
Published 11 days ago by Stefano Maestrello
3.0 out of 5 stars but a nice read.
Not what I expected, but a nice read.
Published 16 days ago by Gert Jensen
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest Americans to ever live and serve his country
Ben Franklin, along with George Washington, was largely responsible for the form of government we have today. Franklin was the model for the American citizen. Read more
Published 25 days ago by W. Sid Vogel
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a Delight!
What a joy to get insight into one of the most fascinating of the Founding Fathers of this exceptional country!
Published 2 months ago by Janet S.
5.0 out of 5 stars thank you
hehe i got it and i like it , thank you so much , hopefully i'll some from you again guys ^^
Published 3 months ago by Triet Le
5.0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Franklin ideas
Benjamin had very strong ideas how things were to be. He didn't get his way all the time but his ideas are there.
Published 4 months ago by kathy miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, fast shpping
I'm not finished with it yet, but so far it is an excellent book. Benjamin Franklinwas a very interesting man for his time.
Published 4 months ago by Jamie Gross
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great autobiography, learned many new and familiar life lessons
Published 5 months ago by josh
5.0 out of 5 stars who knew?
his notes are so interesting; his observations are so vivid for a young man; encouraging for young people to read and for older people it is a neat look into his thinking, as we... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lizzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Not an easy read, but worth it for the fascinating story
I gave this five stars because Benjamin Franklin mainly because was such an incredibly fascinating man. A word of warning: this is not an easy read for many people. Read more
Published 7 months ago by KNimblett
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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, 1996 Dover Edition
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