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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Audio, Cassette – Unabridged, October, 1997

ISBN-13: 060-1531104344 ISBN-10: 1572700432 Edition: Unabridged

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Audio, Cassette, Unabridged, October, 1997
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Audio Partners; Unabridged edition (October 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572700432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572700437
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,017 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,729,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The acting is superb." -- LA Times

"This well-known work by one of our nation's founding fathers was certainly given to the right individual to narrate. Fredd Wayne, whose one-man show, "Benjamin Franklin, Citizen," has also been recorded by Audio Editions, seems to have captured Franklin's persona." -- Dick Richmond, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 19, 1997

From the Publisher

Also available by Edmund S. Morgan: Benjamin Franklin --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

What an amazing man and great American.
Suzanne McInnes
Even though Ben Franklin seemed to be just an average guy, as you read about him accomplishing one thing after another, you get a sense of his magnificence as a man.
S. Hammill
Much of the book's charm comes from it's very clear use of language and subtle humor, which is difficult to capture without a great deal of direct quotation.
M. J. Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

603 of 613 people found the following review helpful By T. Simons VINE VOICE on September 25, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a little presumptuous to write a "review" of a book as historically important as this, so I'll just give a few reasons why you should read it.

It's well-written and engaging, even 200+ (nearing 300+; Franklin was born in 1706) years later. It stops in 1760, well before his involvement with the Revolution, but it covers in detail his youth, apprenticeships, the formation of his philosophy and ideals, and his path from poor roots to business and social success -- the first telling of the American Dream, the idea that a poor young man could Find His Fortune in the New World through enterprise, wisdom, and work.

There is a high degree of self-hagiography here, and it would be amusing to tally up (for example) how many times Franklin praises himself vs. how many times he advises on the virtue of humility. He smooths over controversial topics like his illegitimate son, he doesn't mention his membership in the Freemasons, etc. The construction is also a bit rambling ("Then I did this thing. Next, I did another thing. Then I did a third thing"), but Franklin simply did so many interesting things -- even in this short slice of his life -- that the book is interesting despite that. There's a great deal of discussion on his scientific and inventive accomplishments, and he talks at length about his development of his own personal moral code and how he achieved business success (along with Franklin's Personal Method You Can Use for Self-Improvement -- in some ways, this is the first self-help book!)

All in all, this is very much worth reading, and gives a compelling picture of Franklin's life and times.
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129 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Mary V. Douphrate on September 9, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
While reading "An Incomplete Education" I read that this was the greatest autobiography ever written. Out of curiosity I purchased it and read it and the recommendation was right on. This book was very intriguing and captivating.

The only disappointing part was that the American Revolution and Benjamin Franklin's part was not detailed.

Benjamin Franklin's list of virtues and his application to his life were amazing. Oh that young men today would seek to be so virtuous!

Great read.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By S. Giuffre on October 3, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is actually less an autobiography in the traditional sense we see today and more of a story told in two sections. The first is a letter to his son, while the second part he seemed to have been encouraged to write by a friend. The first letter is the story from his birth to his arrival in PA, while the send part picks up where the first leaves off and continues until just before our Revolution. But the result is the same - enlightenment about how important this man was.

The prose in this book is, as you'd expect, 18th century so you get plenty of "thee" and "thy" but not to distraction. It is a compelling read and difficult to put down but the language gets tedious. As you can tell by my rating this does not diminish the quality of the book but may affect some potential readers.

In all it's definitely worth your time and effort to understand one of the founding geniuses of our country. Really, this man is a true American hero. Where would we be without a free press, libraries and many of his other contributions? He was a skilled negotiator very much in the right place at the right time.

Still, it would be all the more satisfying to hear his side of the events of the Revolution. I wonder at the gaping hole presented by this. Perhaps he was afraid of arrest or worse? One is left imagining whether there would even be a United States were it not for BF.

It would be interesting if other readers might share other biographical recommendations, if any, that could shed light on the latter part of Mr. Franklin's life. This book is an essential first step towards a complete understanding of one of our founding fathers.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A.J. on October 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is more of a collection of separate writings (often decades apart)
rather than a coherent autobiography. Im always fascinated by a glimpse
into historical society so I enjoyed the read, although many sections
are quite detailed and not very interesting descriptions of some particular
civic, political, or academic affair Franklin was involved in.
I think many are interested mainly in Franklin's character and its
ethical foundations- there are quite a few self-reflections
on these such as the value of honesty, sincerity and integrity, etc.

Other things I found interesting was the description of the problem
of alcoholism already 300 years ago (and the rejection by society people
suffering from it met with), the description of the Indian wars (where Indians
are describes as quite ruthless and vile, and, eventually wiped out by alcohol
rather than force), and the corruption and selfish characters
dominating politics and public office ("few in public affairs act from a view of the
good of their country, and fewer still with a view to the good of mankind"),
and the foundation of his friendships (which is always an activity or common interest).

Of great interest is also Franklin's list of virtues which he tried to live by

1 Temperance : moderation in food and drink.
2 Silence : Not unnecessary chatter!
3 Order : Things must be in their place, tasks must be allowed to take their time
4 Resolution
5 Frugality
6 Industry : Be always employed in something useful! Otherwise you are losing time.
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