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"Benjamin Franklin: Silence Dogood, the Busy-Body, and EarlyWritings" (Library of America) Hardcover – October 6, 2005


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About the Author

Benjamin Franklin, statesman, philosopher, and man of letters, was born in Boston in 1706 of Protestant parents. He entered Boston Grammar School when he was eight and later attended George Brown Ell’s school. When he was twelve his father apprenticed him to his half-brother James as a printer. James was later the publisher of the New England Courant, where Franklin’s first articles, The Dogood Papers, were published before he was seventeen. He went to Philadelphia in 1723 and pursued his trade of printer. He was befriended by William Keith, Governor of Pennsylvania, who offered to help the young man get started in business. Franklin left for England, where he hoped to arrange for the purchase of printing equipment. Arriving in London in 1724, he was soon deserted by Keith, and again turned to printing for a livelihood. His privately printed Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain (1725) introduced him to leading Deists and other intellectuals in London. A year later, he returned to Philadelphia, and by 1730 he had been appointed public printer for Pennsylvania. In 1731 he established the first circulation library in the United States; in 1743-44, The American Philosophical Society. In 1748 he retired from the trade of printer but continued to advise and back his partner and to draw profit from the business. Poor Richard’s Almanack was his most spectacular success as a publisher, having gone through numerous editions and been translated in many languages. During the next thirty-five years he devoted himself largely to politics and diplomacy, but still wrote and engaged in scientific ventures. He resigned as Minister to France in 1785, returned to America, and was elected President of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Still concerned with the rights of the individual, he published papers encouraging the abolition of slavery. He died in Philadelphia in 1790.
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Product Details

  • Series: Library of America (Book 37)
  • Hardcover: 823 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America (October 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931082227
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931082228
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The wonderful Library of America (I hope all of you support it as well as buy their fabulous volumes) decided to split the 1,600 plus pages of their volume of the writings of Benjamin Franklin into two volumes. This first volume contains the earlier materials. It includes the famous Silence Dogood articles, the "Busy Body" essays, articles from his influential paper "The Pennsylvania Gazette", as well as other pamphlets, and miscellaneous writings. It concludes with some of the material he wrote while in London as a diplomat. My fear is that the second volume will be more popular because the material is more familiar. However, Franlin's earlier writings are quite important and should be read and valued just as highly.

Benjamin Franklin is one of the great icons of the American Founding. He is truly one of the essential men who built our nation and deserves every praise we can heap on him. When we see images of the founders, they are all shown as old men, not how old they were in 1776. Franklin was really a generation older than most of the firebrands who led the Revolution. He was seventy when he signed the Declaration of Independence (John Adams was 41, George Washington 44, and Thomas Jefferson 33 on July 4, 1776) and eighty-one when he signed our Constitution as a member of the delegation from Pennsylvania. He was an amazing man. He was a successful printer, inventor, philanthropist, revolutionary, diplomat, and all around student of the world.

This book is interesting to dip into and read just those portions that interest you, as well as reading its more than 800 pages front to back. It has great notes on the text that provide contextual and translation help as well as sources, a most interesting chronology of Franklin's long and productive life, and an index.

This certainly is a must have for your shelf on the history of America's Founding.
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Format: Hardcover
I have not entirely finished this book, but what I have read so far has been fascinating and very well done. "Silence Dogood" was funny, thought provoking and timely even for today. Ben Franklin was a very intelligent and largely self-educated individual. Couldn't wait to order the volume with his autobiography and Poor Richard's Almanack.
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Format: Hardcover
The Library of America puts out the original writings of the American founding fathers and other important figures of our country. It is one of the most valuable set of books. This book is in excellent condition and helps complete my entire set. Thank you.
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By Wayne R McClanahan on April 5, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Randy on September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Obviously, this is not his entire correspondence, their should be a book offered with both sides of the conversation, so you must dig deep if you mean to know exactly what is reason...However, it offers a glimpse into the mind of a great man.
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