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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
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- Lexile measure : 1370L
- Item Weight : 5.9 ounces
- Paperback : 116 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1508475091
- ISBN-13 : 978-1508475095
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.27 x 9 inches
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 1, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #44,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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However....the quality control of this edition was atrocious. The cover shows fingerprints very badly, and somehow, they don't even wipe off. Throughout the text, sections that were supposed to be footnotes were printed as though they were part of Franklin's narrative (I verified this with an early 1900s edition I had on the shelf). Additionally, the binding quality itself is suspect, and I don't suspect it will hold up to too much more reading.
Bottom line: buy (and read) Franklin's Autobiography, but buy a different edition/publisher/printing.
Benjamin Franklin is known for grand accomplishments in science, engineering, government, diplomacy, and concern for fellow man. There are reasons for these accomplishments: he had great capacities for reason, consideration of others, and determination to make the most of his gifts through hard work. It is no wonder that this man could write so engaging a work as this recollection of events in his life.
I first read Benjamin Franklin's autobiography when I was a young man of about 20 years old looking for a personal cure for insomnia. Mission: failed miserably. Once I got past the differences in language (caused by over 200 years of misuse), I found myself so engrossed in this story that sleep was the last thing on my mind. It was a story written not just with a critical eye for detail for the benefit of historians; it was originally meant only for his son, so it came from the heart.
In devouring this book, I discovered not only a great measure of the depth of his understanding of the world around him -- and us -- but a feeling of familiarity with the man himself. I learned about Ben Franklin -- and not just his accomplishments. His accomplishments and his interactions with other people are documented copiously elsewhere, but here you learn something about his ways of thinking that you cannot learn from a third party. For example, who could blame such an accomplished man for being proud of all that he gave (quite literally, without royalties or other compensation) to the world? Yet our man, Ben, was not driven by pride. (It pains me not to give away this part of the story, as it was perhaps my favorite, but you should read it in his words, not mine, for full appreciation. Besides, that would qualify as a "spoiler.")
If you have even a passing interest in Ben Franklin (as I suspect you have, since you are reading this review), you owe it to yourself to read his autobiography.
A word of caution: you may find yourself wanting to learn more about this man, but find others' biographies of him to be lacking in one regard or more. I have read a few of them (some much better than others) and won't review them here, but I will say this much: ALL of them left me wondering how accurate they were, regardless of the biographers' reputations. I did get the sense from Ben Franklin's writing that he was being honest and -- let's face it -- no one in our world or his knows or knew better than he exactly what he thought or experienced.
Another word of caution: you may find yourself wanting to learn more about early American history and the very real people who shaped our nation and gave so much of themselves to mold a society where individual freedom trumped government interference in people's lives. This should be required reading in American History classes across America.
If I were to be stranded on an island with only three books, I would, without hesitation, choose this as one of the three.
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.
2. The text is too small for the page's dimensions.
3. The cover has a matte finishing, which feels weird on skin and holds onto smudges, finger prints, and oil.
4. This edition is clearly produced by someone with internet access, a word processor, and an Amazon KDP account. The book does not contain a title page or any information about the publisher; it's just a pdf that's been printed and bound.
If you want to read Franklin's autobiography, don't buy this lousy paperback edition. Instead, find a pdf online (it's in the public domain) and print it yourself. You'll end up with the exact same book, minus the weird feeling matte cover.
Top reviews from other countries
1st published in 1793. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is the traditional name for the unfinished record of his own life written as letters to his son by Benjamin Franklin from 1771 to 1790...
Youngest Son of Josiah Franklin, Benjamin Franklin born on 1706 and spend his childhood days in Boston, worked as a apprentice under his own elder brother... where he got a chance to read books and eventually he became very fond of reading them. At age 17, He left to Philadelphia to work as a printer...
In Philadelphia, He made several acquaintances, especially with popular personalities, which eventually helped him grow in his career... He Succeeded in opening his own printing press and there he met his future wife "Deborah Read".
He started writing Articles to the Newspaper at very young age where he got numerous experience in writing articles... He became a member of political group and elected as a leader. He also shown interest in experiments and performed many....!!!! Yes he is a Inventor... The inventor of Franklin stove & Lightening rod.. He is most famous for performing Kite experiment, where he explained the relation between lightening and electricity...
He once appointed as a colonial Postmaster General in battle of Pennsylvania... and also represented AMERICA when he went to other countries. He is also one of the members who signed the declaration of Independence to United states, thus he became one of the founding fathers of AMERICA.
Benjamin Franklin is a Author, printer, political theorist, politician postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.
I Strongly recommend one to buy this book, and the following once...
* The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
* the Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
* The Story of by Life - Hellen Keller
* The story of MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH - MK Gandhi
* Long walk to freedom - Nelson Mandela
Note : I bought this book from Finger print publishers, unlike other books this book has a good paper and printing quality.
Although the font size, print quality and typesetting is satisfactory, I'm not happy with the binding of the book; last few pages of the book had to be separated with a blade, which is unfortunate, and the same pages were not bound properly, they were loose and i had to use a glue them back into the book.
For all its selectivity it is a fascinating book about a self made man with few privileges who went on to have huge impact on framing the US Constitution.
As the youngest of 17 children born in Boston, USA to a tallow chandler, he left school at 10 and was bound as an apprentice to his brother, a printer. At 17 he ran away to Philadelphia and from there made his own way in life establishing his own printing business, importantly his own newspaper "the Pennsylvania Gazette" and position in Philadelphia society.
The autobiography focuses on his early years. It is full of homilies on self improvement, on the art of conversation, and on reading and work. In 1732 he began issuing his famous "Poor Richard's Almanac" borrowing and composing pithy utterances of worldly wisdom. In 1758 the Almanac was published as "Father Abraham's Sermon" and is now regarded as the most famous peice of literature produced in Colonial America.
But it was a raw and hard life. The travails of establishing a business from nothing and with very tough communication. For example Boston was a fortnight sailing from Philadelphia. On one typical journey "we struck a shoal in going down the bay and sprung a leak; we had a blustering time at sea , and were obliged to pump almost continuously, at which I took my turn".
As he became more involved with public affairs he founded an "American Philosophical Society" for the purposes of enabling scientific men to communicate their discoveries to one another. His electricity discoveries gave him a reputation in Europe. But his fame as a statesman rests on his connections and negotiations with the British and the French. "The Colonies" (i.e Americans) went to enormous lengths to work with the British Government and the King and try to persuade them to avoid the iniquitous and one sided taxation that led to the American Revolution. Despite his efforts at compromise, Franklin became second only to George Washington as the champion of American Independence.
A very selective and incomplete autobiography but so illuminating.