Why didn't I learn in school about how awesome Ben Franklin was? In addition to his kite flying escapade, he invented a better type of wood burning furnace, and a better street lamp. He created the first public university in America U. Penn , helped create one of the first public hos Man oh man, that dude had some mad skills. Penn , helped create one of the first public hospitals, and came up with the idea for the first fire department, and the first public library.
Benjamin Franklin. His Autobiography. The Harvard Classics
His main profession was a printer and newspaper man which served him well in marketing many of his projects , but he also served as a colonel, a postmaster general, and an assemblyman. His career is just astounding. Also - it isn't covered in this book, but he was one of the core founding fathers. It's because the dude pretty much single handedly built America :- I will concede that the man was not modest, but regardless, it's hard to argue with his track record. View 2 comments. Jan 28, Ilyn Ross rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: everyone.
His sensible father was of good character. Franklin was a deist. What God has given man, he purposefully, methodically, and continually used to improve himself. A self-driven independent thinker, he endeavored to improve, not only mentally and financially, but morally. He did it for his own sake, and the fruits became the glory of mankind.
Franklin resol Dr. Franklin resolved to practice virtues every moment. He said he was not so successful in some, e. Order, but his ambitious efforts did him well. Some in the list, e.
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It is clear from his depictions of his practice of humility that he did not mean self-abasement nor self-negation — he practiced diplomacy. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it perhaps, often in this history; for even if I conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should be probably proud of my humility. Franklin had no mean bone in his body.
He used reason and persuasion to advance his convictions. His integrity earned the respect and trust of his fellowmen. Franklin earned the virtue of pride. He depicted errors that he regretted. He had the misfortune of losing a four-year-old son to smallpox. I found page 63 very interesting. I dearly enjoyed reading Dr.
I laughed heartily at this part: a great gun is certainly a fire engine. Benjamin Franklin had an exemplary, glorious life. View all 3 comments. Jul 06, Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing Shelves: autobiography , history , non-fiction , humor. Ben Franklin did it all.
He was an incredible self-made human. Why wouldn't someone want to read more about him? The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is fairly short and to the point. It took a while to come to grips with Franklin's olde timey speech, but once I got up to speed or slowed down? He was a natural storyteller.
Seriously, was there anything this dude couldn't do? Not only was he industrious, but he made an admirable mora Ben Franklin did it all. Not only was he industrious, but he made an admirable moral compass, without being overly pious or self-righteous. He might have had to learn modesty, but considering his success and obvious intelligence -not to mention some of the buffoons he was surrounded by- it's a wonder he didn't constantly show up his contemporaries.
He details his change in speech, reducing definitive statements, in order to avoid shame and embarrassment for both arguing parties. He is forthcoming in this way, just as he is generous in his inventions. When they could have made him a fortune, he would not take out a patent, thus allowing the less fortunate and society as a whole to benefit. It was a pleasure to reacquaint myself with this man's wisdom.
Once upon a time Americans modeled their behavior on his proverbs, as set down in Poor Richard's Almanac. Example: Franklin relates losing a four-year-old son to small pox, regrets not having inoculated him, and encourages parents to do so. This was over two hundred years ago. What in the world has become of us? It's time we get to know this man again. I was happy to do so over the Fourth of July holiday.
View all 6 comments. This is a wonderfully inspiring Read. It's a small book packed with great insights into virtuous living. His curiosity and observation of the world around him lead him to live an amazingly full life in which he accomplished much for the good of mankind.
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All this combined with his wit and writing style make it enjoyable to read and truly encourages the reader towards self improvement. I'm actually reading it again right now. It's great for new year's resolutions. Aug 25, Bruce rated it liked it. It was fun to reacquaint myself with the work. Franklin first of all affirms that he would live his life over again unchanged, were he given the opportunity. Thus one can see that Franklin was essentially a content and optimistic man.
This book is a candid and non-florid account of his development from a poor and ignorant child to a success in many fields. In this respect he is not reluctant to admit his failures, his misjudgments and follies. He had a fair amount of good luck, too, particularly with respect to helpful people being drawn to him and recognizing his talents. And his presentation is quintessentially secular, with almost none of the pious or even sanctimonious rhetoric associated with such contemporaries as Jonathan Edwards; in this sense he comes across as very modern, thus increasing his relevance for readers today.
Franklin affirms his Deism, his rejection of divine revelation, and his essential irreligiousness in practice if not in belief. Franklin is a true heir of the Enlightenment, and his work shows little Romantic sentiment or appreciation. A true polymath, Franklin unabashedly enumerates his activities and accomplishments in many areas of endeavor. His style is not introspective or psychological but an enumeration of events and facts. Yet the narrative flows and is easily readable and entertaining.
View all 4 comments. In the summer of , while he was living in a country home in England, Benjamin Franklin began an autobiography that he was destined to never finish. He prepared an outline of a final section that he did not complete, but the four parts that he did finish represent one of the seminal documents of the enlightenment.
He was a statesman, an author, an inventor, a scientist, a printer, and the list goes on and on when describing Benjamin Franklin. As an autobiographer he also demonstrated his geni In the summer of , while he was living in a country home in England, Benjamin Franklin began an autobiography that he was destined to never finish. As an autobiographer he also demonstrated his genius as he reinvented the genre and the result is a classic. By focusing on his own self-invention the narrator of the autobiography broke with the previous models of this type of writing and provided a way for America to imagine itself.
Reading this work is both useful and inspirational. Undoubtedly that was intended for the author demonstrated a practicality in everything he did in his long life. The book also demonstrates a secular character that differs from some of the earlier classics such as Augustine's Confessions. For those who love reading his description of the founding of the first lending library is a perfect example of how he led his life, and he determined from this experience that the best way to promote a project was to remain in the background, avoiding self-promotion.
In this way my Affair went on more smoothly, and I ever after practis'd it on such Occasions; and from my frequent Successes, can heartily recommend it. I am reminded of a lecture I attended several years ago where Franklin's achievement was described as a "new Regime" by Professor Joseph Alulis.
In his lucid and invigorating presentation at the Chicago Cultural Center part of the First Friday series of lectures of the Basic Program of Liberal Education at the University of Chicago , he told how Franklin outlined a new order - a foundation for what became The United States of America. Only 5 years after writing the first part of his autobiography Franklin would join Thomas Jefferson and others in writing the Declaration of Independence of the United States.
The autobiography is an inspirational work and one that recommends a life of the pursuit of virtue and wisdom. It is a book worth reading and rereading. An interesting, short autobiography, but a little slow. I've always loved this guy, but to have him talk to me in his own words gave me goosebumps! Franklin certainly was the original "jack of all trades" and it was fun to hear him talk about his days as a young man, getting started, before and leading up to the time of the Revolution - which is probably what most people associate him with.
He was so ahead of his time. I started to tab all the quotes of ideas he was proposing that we hear the current, leading self-help gurus propose today. Franklin a I've always loved this guy, but to have him talk to me in his own words gave me goosebumps! Franklin already thought of half of this stuff, people! He wrote this autobiography in installments at various times: , , and Franklin lived a long life, dying in at the ripe old age of We'll be hard-pressed to find another public servant, inventor, and civic-minded person such Franklin ever again.
View all 5 comments. Benjamin Franklin's autobiography is perfect except for one thing, its only half finished! Franklin was prevented from completing it, by becoming involved in the American Revolution. Later going as a diplomat to Paris, to get French help. Born in Boston in , to Josiah Franklin and his wife Abiah. A good student in his youth but the family lacked the money to send him to college.
His father was a candle maker and Benjamin after many false starts became an apprentice to his brother James in the p Benjamin Franklin's autobiography is perfect except for one thing, its only half finished! His father was a candle maker and Benjamin after many false starts became an apprentice to his brother James in the printing business.
At the age of 11 he was an indentured servant, a virtual slave, no pay ,just room and board. Learning quickly and he even began writing articles for his brother's newspaper, the New England Courant. Fleeing at 17, first to New York and than Philadelphia from James's harsh treatment. Meeting a man named Keimer in Philadelphia, Franklin returned to printing. After years of hard work the future statesman became very successful. A common-law marriage to Sarah Read in , her first husband deserted "Miss Read". Writer, scientist,inventor,statesman, diplomat and businessman. Benjamin Franklin helped a new nation arise!
Jul 24, Jan Rice rated it really liked it. This was exciting, once I found out it really was his autobiography! I couldn't believe it at 1st. Turned out to be divided roughly into two parts, the 1st starting with his family history and younger years, and the second coming later after a break. He was in his 80s, and his public had encouraged him to continue. The 2nd part is a little slower but still informative. The book is not very long, not a huge tome. It stops all of a sudden, before the revolutionary years. Maybe he just couldn't fin This was exciting, once I found out it really was his autobiography!
Maybe he just couldn't find the time! I often see that people are claiming to know what the founding fathers were like and what they thought. Well, here it is--you can find out for yourself. Politically, among other things, he may be an equal-opportunity offender. His family were Protestants, Presbyterians, but he wouldn't go to church. He told how he once went to hear one of his favorite scriptural verses preached on. He said he couldn't believe the preacher could ruin it, but he did--changed it from teaching caring behavior toward others into making more Presbyterians!
He did believe in treating others as himself; generally his views strike the ear as quite advanced--except for this one story about native Americans and alcoholism: he opined that if God intended to remove Indians in favor of "those who cultivate the land," that maybe alcohol was God's instrument for doing so. It is mostly just exciting, though, to hear this witness from the past.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
This book is available to read right on the Internet, although I got hold of a lively audio edition for a pittance. Jun 07, Joe rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. I have always been very skeptical of self-help books. Covey openly admitted that Benjamin Franklin's autobiography guided his ideas. So, I decided to go right to the source. There is no better life book, and it is so effective because it does not seek to be a self-help book. This autobiography is really just a look into the life of a person who sought only improvement in his own person and enga I have always been very skeptical of self-help books.
This autobiography is really just a look into the life of a person who sought only improvement in his own person and engaged in continuous self-reflection to achieve that end. He advocates pillars of morality that should not bend and even explains his efforts to be perfect, ultimately to determine we can't be perfect, but the effort remains worthy. Most illuminating is Franklin's attempts to become better at discussion. He studies himself as if he were his own lab rat and chronicle's his results like the scientist he was.
He reminds himself to use phrases like "that is a good point, but have you considered Unlike many scientific-minded people, Franklin was equally brilliant in the social, political and scientific worlds. And you will see that he takes as much pleasure in the opening of the first library in Pennsylvania as any other accomplishment.
It is a great slice of a unique life at a unique time in history. And it is the best book I have ever read. There is so much to learn from Benjamin Franklin and his autobiography and other writings. Please read it yourself. It is well worth your time. I was inspired by his genius, curiosity in all subjects and in people. Apr 27, Saadia B. Hustle, Bustle and Hurdles rated it liked it. This autobiography written by Benjamin Franklin himself is more of a chronological diary of his achievements than an autobiography, as not much have been discussed about his life but mostly it tell us about the work done by him.
He started working with his brother from a very young age at his printing press, while writing prose at the same time. Apart from his busin This autobiography written by Benjamin Franklin himself is more of a chronological diary of his achievements than an autobiography, as not much have been discussed about his life but mostly it tell us about the work done by him. Apart from his business, he also took interest in discussions and founded many societies, a library, fire company and established the University of Philadelphia. Started working as a clerk at the General Assembly and later became the Deputy of late Governor of Virginia.
Seeing his influence he was elected by the people and helped in building a hospital - free for poor patients, proposed a bill for construction of pavements and street lights. Performed experiments on tubes and wrote papers on them, eventually published them all as a book. Franklin was a man of usual scope of power and usefulness who knew how to tell his fellow man the secrets of that power and usefulness. In his opinion, great part of miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made for the value of things.
Benjamin Franklin invented the American Fire Department, wood stoves, and the American system of government. You would think, then, that he'd invent some way of writing an autobiography that wasn't boring as hell. But no. Franklin loves his books, and he also loves self-improvement the best parts of this are his bizarre charts where he rates himself on a point scale of morality.
But despite all of his attention to rhetoric this book does not, in my opinion, rise to the occasion of chronicli Benjamin Franklin invented the American Fire Department, wood stoves, and the American system of government. But despite all of his attention to rhetoric this book does not, in my opinion, rise to the occasion of chronicling what by all accounts is a remarkable life. At one point he remarks that books with scenes and dialogue are more pleasurable to read - it's strange that someone so bent on self-improvement did not then think to incorporate such literary devices into his own writing.
Like many male autobiographers from St. Augustine to modern day politicians , early education, mundane philosophies on life in general, and braggadocio about professional accomplishments are given much space, while almost no time is devoted to the truly personal. Love affairs, marriage, children, death of loved ones, dramatic changes in personal beliefs - these are given little or no consideration.
Autobiographies like these always leave me wishing the wife had written her side of the story. View 1 comment. I just finished a biography and decided to reread his Autobiography, which I read in high school.
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I loved it then. What kind of boy did that make me? A nerd? A dork? I prefer to say "budding intellectual. Nothing wrong with a book that does that. Oct 07, Jon athan Nakapalau rated it it was amazing Shelves: history , philosophy , classics , us-history , cultural-studies , autobiography. This book was a referral from a friend who became the CFO of his company through hard work and sacrifice. He credits this book, above any other he read while pursuing his MBA, for his success.
Franklin has a 'favorite uncle' way of giving you advice that will set you on the path to success. Mar 02, Roy Lotz rated it really liked it Shelves: biography-memoir-travel , americana. Benjamin Franklin is the closest America will ever get to producing a Buddha. There is just something unreal about Ben, like he stepped right out of a myth. Of course, this is perhaps an image he cultivated, but he cultivated it well. What I mean by that Buddha comment is that I think Benjamin Franklin epitomizes a certain, distinctively Yankee notion of virtue. First and foremost, it is the virtue of industriousness.
Benjamin Franklin never let himself have an idle moment. Every day was subdivi Benjamin Franklin is the closest America will ever get to producing a Buddha. Every day was subdivided into little blocks of time, in which he strove to better himself, his business, his town, and his country. Benjamin Franklin was a schemer. He was always looking for new, beneficial ideas and plans.
Because America and Britain maintained a mercantile relationship with one another the colonists possessed no real means of developing various items and often relied on supplies from England when in need. Besides being largely dependent on British goods Franklin demonstrates the ability for economic flexibility within the colonies with his description of own his life.
Franklin, essentially, was an individual who transcended multiple financial barriers going from rags to riches. In one example, Franklin describes the rising number of libraries within the American colonies:. The love of science, particularly in regard to electricity, is discussed at length by Franklin. Franklin gives a brief reference to a man known as, Mr. This description showcases not only the newfound fascination that Americans held towards electricity, but also helps demonstrate the growing and changing interest of Americans in regard to learning.
The diplomatic relations, economic, and intellectual movement described by Franklin offers an unparalleled account of how America operated, particularly during the period prior to the American Revolution. Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. I have always been interested in Benjamin Franklin, and I really enjoyed this article.
I have watched a fair amount of historical documentaries, but I have not read his autobiography. Thanks for such great information about this patriot.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Thank you Liz! Yeah, it was definitely an interesting book. I originally read his autobiography during undergrad for one of my Colonial American History classes. Felt inspired to write about it for some reason haha. This definitely sounds like it gives an interesting insight into the times he lived in. I was especially interested in your comments about the English-American relationship at this time in view of the fact that it is still described as a 'special' relationship.
Coffeequeeen You should definitely read it sometime. Its a really great book! I think he originally wrote it for his children and grandchildren to read. Then over the years it made it to the public. Definitely provides a lot of insight into the American Revolution though, as well as early American culture. I've not read this book, but it does sound very interesting and something I would like to read. Thanks for the article.
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HubPages Inc, a part of Maven Inc. As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. Larry Slawson more. Introduction Throughout The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin a vivid portrayal of 18 th century America is depicted by Benjamin Franklin in his description of life as a young man to late adulthood in early America.
American Economy Aside from describing American and British relations during the s Franklin also gives an account of what the American economy revolved around as well. Poll Have you ever read Franklin's autobiography? Yes No See results. Questions must be on-topic, written with proper grammar usage, and understandable to a wide audience. Political Science.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin : Second Edition
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