- 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: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,393 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Dover Thrift Editions) New edition Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Compelling, instructional andÂ
It is obvious that Morgan has done his homework. -- (Blue Ridge Business Journal)
Named a Best Book of 2002 -- (Salt Lake City Tribune)
Thanks to MorganÂs amiable biographyÂ we meet Franklin and track his love of the British Empire and his eventual disillusionment. -- (Salt Lake City Tribune)
[Morgan] writes withÂ the discipline of someone who commands far more detailÂ than he has allowed himselfÂ to impart. --George Fetherling, Vancouver Sun --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Publisher
Also available by Edmund S. Morgan: Benjamin Franklin --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
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. I particularly liked the picture Franklin draws of contemporary American society -- free, open, and small, with most people in most towns all knowing each other, and business opportunities are wide open for anyone with industry and pluck. I'm not sure how similar modern-day America still is to Franklin's Philadelphia, but it's certain that Franklin -- and this book -- helped set the image that we still *want* to believe America conforms to. And for that alone, it's worth reading.
If you like this book, you might also be interested in reading Alexis de Tocqueville's _Democracy in America_, for another view of colonial-era America, or any of Mark Twain's nonfiction (_Life on the Mississippi_, _Roughing It_, etc.), for similar accounts of America's growth and development a hundred-odd years further on. Any of those should be available as a free Kindle download.
As to the classic text of Franklin's <i>Autobiography</i>, what more can be said that already hasn't for a century. A story of pluck and determination. A story of hard work and humility. A story of virtue versus vice. A story of humor and wit. A story that encourages all the morals and values that made America great. You can see definitely why American children were made to read this all through the 1800s and early 1900s. It is a sort of shame that that is not the case now. Franklin's pragmatism, ecumenicism, public-mindedness, entrepreneurship, and joie de vivre is a story that should be told and emulated by all no matter their gender, age, creed, race, or color, i.e., by every American. In many ways Franklin is the quintessential American.
The book could be improved with a bit of modern editing, just adding a few paragraph breaks, printing a little larger and perhaps some added chapters would make the book easier to read.