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At the age of 75, in 1771 he began work on what he called his Memoirs. He was still working on it when he died in 1790 and it was published posthumously, entitled An Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The book had a complicated and controversial publication history. Strangely enough, the first volume only was first published in French, in Paris in 1791. Later in 1793 a couple of English translations appeared containing the second volume as well. In 1818 Franklin's grandson brought out a three volume edition, which left out the last unfinished fourth volume. William Temple Franklin also took great liberties with the text and made his own revisions. However, in 1868, publisher John Bigelow purchased the original and complete manuscript and brought out the most complete edition so far. The 20th century saw several scholars bring out more definitive and complete versions.
An Autobiography... was written apparently to apprise his son about the events of his life and also meant to be a treatise that would lead to the self betterment of the younger generation. As a book, it is a difficult and complex read. The tone is often meandering, arrogant and condescending in turn and does not have a consistent feel. Written over an extended time period, there are large gaps in sequence and often the author contradicts his own recounting of events. In fact, it ends abruptly, without a shred of information about Franklin's seminal role in the American Revolution. Yet, two centuries after its debut, it remains widely read and acclaimed, valued for its being almost the first autobiography to have been written in English. Its extensive advice on how to go about achieving a list of virtues is probably the first ever self-help book.
As a glimpse of life in 18th century America, it is unrivaled. An Autobiography... also provides readers with the immense possibilities that the New World holds. A poor middleclass youth, one of 10 children, whose parents could hardly afford to send him to school, who attains learning and honest employment by dint of sheer hard work can even today be said to represent the American Dream. With the publication of An Autobiography... it was possible for this new and emerging superpower to establish a history and tradition of its own.
As a slice of history, An Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is indeed an interesting and riveting read.
- Contains colored illustrations
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is the traditional name for the unfinished record of his own life written by Benjamin Franklin from 1771 to 1790; however, Franklin himself appears to have called the work his Memoirs. Although it had a tortuous publication history after Franklin's death, this work has become one of the most famous and influential examples of an autobiography ever written.
Franklin's account of his life is divided into four parts, reflecting the different periods at which he wrote them. There are actual breaks in the narrative between the first three parts, but Part Three's narrative continues into Part Four without an authorial break.
In the "Introduction" of the 1916 publication of the Autobiography, editor F. W. Pine wrote that Franklin's biography provided the "most remarkable of all the remarkable histories of our self-made men" with Franklin as the greatest exemplar.
Benjamin Franklin thought reading was the important ways to ensure better life. Every year he printed 'Poor Richard's Almanac' for a long time. Also printed a lot of quotations in the margins of the Almanac. He hoped the people who has no time to read books to read short messages and get help. The quotations contain wits, insight into life, and philosophy building America the best country of the world.
'256 quotations from Benjamin Franklin' is consisted 256 quotations.
Each pages contain a lot of blank space. Blank space will prevent you floating on from a quotation to a quotation, and help to feel the meaning of the each quotation deeply.
'256 quotations from Benjamin Franklin' is a book reading slowly and bit by bit.
"Read much, but not many books." - Benjamin Franklin
We the 21st century's people have no time to read books too, because we spend all day fixing eyes on smart phones everyday. That makes us hardly read books. We can read only short sentences or during short seconds.
"256 quotations from Benjamin Franklin" matches well with our shortly patterned reading. Although we read for a second each quotations, but we can get the full effect of reading. Each quotations provide us fun and information. These will occur certain chemical reactions in our mind, ensuring better life.
James and Franklin do not get along; so, Franklin and his friend John Collins run away to Philadelphia. There Franklin gets work with a printer named Keimer, with whom he has a pleasant enough relationship.
The life of Benjamin Franklin should be of importance to every American, primarily because of the part he played in securing the independence of the United States and in establishing it as a nation. Franklin shares with Washington the honors of the Revolution, and of the events leading to the birth of the new nation. While Washington was the animating spirit of the struggle in the colonies, Franklin was its ablest champion abroad. To Franklin's cogent reasoning and keen satire, we owe the clear and forcible presentation of the American case in England and France; while to his personality and diplomacy as well as to his facile pen, we are indebted for the foreign alliance and the funds without which Washington's work must have failed. His patience, fortitude, and practical wisdom, coupled with self-sacrificing devotion to the cause of his country, are hardly less noticeable than similar qualities displayed by Washington. In fact, Franklin as a public man was much like Washington, especially in the entire disinterestedness of his public service.Franklin is also interesting to us because by his life and teachings he has done more than any other American to advance the material prosperity of his countrymen. It is said that his widely and faithfully read maxims made Philadelphia and Pennsylvania wealthy, while Poor Richard's pithy sayings, translated into many languages, have had a world-wide influence.Franklin is a good type of our American manhood. Although not the wealthiest or the most powerful, he is undoubtedly, in the versatility of his genius and achievements, the greatest of our self-made men. The simple yet graphic story in the Autobiography of his steady rise from humble boyhood in a tallow-chandler shop, by industry, economy, and perseverance in self-improvement, to eminence, is the most remarkable of all the remarkable histories of our self-made men. It is in itself a wonderful illustration of the results possible to be attained in a land of unequaled opportunity by following Franklin's maxims.