Customer Reviews for

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Insights from America's original innovator

Benjamin Franklin, one of history┬┐s most remarkable human beings, was born in Boston in 1706. Largely self-taught, he became a respected scientist whose experiments on electricity received international acclaim. He invented the lightning rod, the Franklin stove, bifocal...
Benjamin Franklin, one of history┬┐s most remarkable human beings, was born in Boston in 1706. Largely self-taught, he became a respected scientist whose experiments on electricity received international acclaim. He invented the lightning rod, the Franklin stove, bifocals, the glass harmonica, an odometer and more. He was a self-made man who became wealthy as one of America's first commercial printers. He was a respected civic activist, a leading author, a politician and a political theorist. Many of the wise maxims expressed in his immortal Poor Richard's Almanack remain relevant and routinely quoted. Franklin is considered one of America's most accomplished diplomats. He served as minister to France during the Revolutionary War. In that post, he engineered a vital political alliance with the French, winning crucial military and financial aid. We think that anyone who loves history will find this spellbinding autobiography a rare delight. Franklin was on intimate terms with many of the most famous individuals in prerevolutionary America. Indeed, he seemed to have personal dealings with virtually everyone of merit in the New World. His autobiography, written in the best of the archaic language of the time, is a literary classic. Don't deprive yourself of this singular opportunity to learn what the American colonies were like during the prerevolutionary era, as reported by the extraordinary genius who first conceptualized the idea of the United States as an independent nation.

posted by Anonymous on October 25, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Sometimes Cheap Is Not Better

Dover is fabulous for sharing inexpensive editions of classics and I applaud them for it. However, this edition cannot hold a candle to the Labaree et al (Yale University Press) edition. If you want a version actually drawn from Franklin's handwritten copy and well exp...
Dover is fabulous for sharing inexpensive editions of classics and I applaud them for it. However, this edition cannot hold a candle to the Labaree et al (Yale University Press) edition. If you want a version actually drawn from Franklin's handwritten copy and well explained, Labaree's is the best. Top notch.

posted by Anonymous on December 31, 2000

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    Insights from America's original innovator

    Benjamin Franklin, one of history¿s most remarkable human beings, was born in Boston in 1706. Largely self-taught, he became a respected scientist whose experiments on electricity received international acclaim. He invented the lightning rod, the Franklin stove, bifocals, the glass harmonica, an odometer and more. He was a self-made man who became wealthy as one of America's first commercial printers. He was a respected civic activist, a leading author, a politician and a political theorist. Many of the wise maxims expressed in his immortal Poor Richard's Almanack remain relevant and routinely quoted. Franklin is considered one of America's most accomplished diplomats. He served as minister to France during the Revolutionary War. In that post, he engineered a vital political alliance with the French, winning crucial military and financial aid. We think that anyone who loves history will find this spellbinding autobiography a rare delight. Franklin was on intimate terms with many of the most famous individuals in prerevolutionary America. Indeed, he seemed to have personal dealings with virtually everyone of merit in the New World. His autobiography, written in the best of the archaic language of the time, is a literary classic. Don't deprive yourself of this singular opportunity to learn what the American colonies were like during the prerevolutionary era, as reported by the extraordinary genius who first conceptualized the idea of the United States as an independent nation.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Surprsingly surprised

    Albeit Benjamin Franklin is a staple in American history, I'd never read more about him than what those few, short paragraphs school texts provide. It's a hard read for the laymen; the writing style is something of a "chew-through," if you catch my meaning (though I personally enjoyed the difficulty). I recommened this book to anybody questioning the value of hard work, ingenuity, vigor, stamina, and resilience. Benjamin Franklin is THE representation of our heritage, the figure to whom a great many turn when inquiring into our country's origin. Who better to illustrate it, then, than the man himself?

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2010

    A straightforward account of a life by the man himself.

    Benjamin Franklin is one of the more inspiring individuals in the history of the US. Reading through this autobiography, it becomes apparent that he was a true "self-made" man. He gives account of his achievements as well as his shortcomings and provides insight regarding how he grew (or failed to grow) from each.

    This is not a volume of hardcore history. At most, it will provide some context to Franklin's actions leading up to and during the American Revolution by revealing where he came from.

    Personally, I found this book a motivator for personal growth and responsibility. Franklin led his life taking full responsibility for his actions - successes and failures alike. In my opinion, his example and way of living is a lesson the we as a people would do well to relearn.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    Benjamin Franklin. An Amazing scientist.

    this is a very good book has a lot of information on him from a child to an adult. He was Extremely deticated to almost everything he did, which you dont see much anymore. He worked very hard and this book showed this. It's hard to believe he retired at 45... wow. This book tought me a lot about him, before reading it i really only knew he made electricity. I didnt know that he did all kinds of other things and also did not know of the process that he took to find it. If you ask me we have Dr. Spencer to thank as much as we do Benjamin Franklin.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the greatest of the Founding Fathers

    This is an amazing account of Benjamin Franklin in his own words. He was an absolutely amazing man. He accomplished so much in his life and he gave us so much that he is one of the greatest of our Founding Fathers. He was so far ahead of his time and incredibly intelligent for his time. This should be required reading in our schools.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2012

    The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin effectively allows the re

    The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin effectively allows the reader to follow the journey of Franklin and offers us a better perspective on just how impressive this man was. The autobiography itself is broken into the three distinct sections and as expected break up the different parts of Franklin’s life. The first section establishes the major theme of the book- self betterment. It additionally gives background information on the family ancestry of Franklin and his own family during his youth. It also tracks the earlier life of Franklin, in particular his work with printers and full of criticism for his boss at the time. It begins the development of Franklin as a great writer and one who produces his work. Perhaps one of the most fascinating parts of the book was part three as he discusses and goes into detail his life as a scientist and the inventions he created in his life.

    The biography is truly demonstrative of Franklin’s humor and philosophical beliefs that matured throughout his life. His writings take on an aspect of appreciating the better sides of humanity. While the language he uses may be a bit confusing, or at least seem a bit daunting, Franklin is still able to communicate his effective messages throughout the work. What was particularly refreshing was the absence of detail on the revolution, it allowed us to establish a better connection with his personality and ultimately feel closer to him.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    I would give this book to a graduate in high school or college as a helpful guide in life

    This book has much to say in dealing with different people. It is benjamin franklin telling his story and he tells what he has learned in his lifetime what he would recommend for a young man to do just starting out in life, to business, adventures on the sea and providing for a family. It is simply amazing and inspiring. I give this a high recommendation. You must read this book to help you get an idea for a sucessful life, or just finding a great read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    Have not read yet

    I did not read this book yet

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2011

    Definitive source for a brief look into B. Franklin's life.

    Looking for some insight into such an astounding founding father of the United States, I decided to pick this up as my first ever Autobiography.

    The reading was fine and everything was neatly done in this edition. It sounds authentic and from my little knowledge, it doesn't appear as though very much, if anything at al,l has been omitted except for the end part of the book. It stops very abruptly and so I decided to research this. And, in fact, Franklin did have more to write about, why this edition omits a good 2-3 more pages (by my assumption) worth of information is unknown to me.

    Other than that, the book was good and I recommend it for those who have a few questions regarding such an interesting man. Although he does not discuss the latter part of his life, including arguably the most important era, the Revolutionary War.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2011

    Left out a few pages at the end

    I was browsing through the book and it struck me that the ending wasn't quite right. It ended with saying that they arrived in London. I compared it to my hardback copy and noticed that in my hardback that Franklin wrote another 6 pages about what happened after that. I'm hoping I can get my money back.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2010

    The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

    Reading this autobiography made be wonder about the lives of my ancestors who where living in some of the same areas of the country as Benjamin Franklin. I couldn't stop reading until I finished the entire book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Wonderful autobiography

    I enjoyed reading Ben Franklin's first hand account of his life. I knew he was innovative. Found out he was a very forward thinker for his time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2008

    insightful!

    The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin was very hard to comprehend.<BR/>The time period in which it was written is how the style of writing is.<BR/>Franklin goes on talking about his life but he states that he is rewriting his life to better himself. He takes out the mistakes he has done in his life, and only mentions a few mistakes alerting you to pay attention to what he mention. If you are interested in history and Franklin¿s personality then read this book. I personally didn¿t really enjoy it but it was informative.

    1 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2014

    the life of one of the most influential men in american history

    the life of one of the most influential men in american history that demonstrates his humble beginnings to the most successful printer in Philadelphia. One follows in the footsteps in the life of Benjamin Franklin and, with his eloquence, can picture his life unfold as one reads on. An essential in any persons personal collection that may change how one can live their life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2013

    Worst book ever















































    ,





    ,








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  • Posted December 3, 2010

    difficult to read

    I like the story, but it is difficult to read with the way it is printed. I'm going to be purchasing a different version that is more readable

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2010

    Average

    This was an okay book. Did not touch on any of the Revolutionary War timeperiod.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Business Thinking from One of History's Richest Men

    Ben Franklin is one of history's richest men, which led me to wanting to learn more about him. He started with only a little knowledge from a printing apprenticeship and no money, and turned it into great wealth by living some simple principles. An enlightening read!

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Classic that should be read

    In high school, I did a book report on Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography after reading only a fourth of it. Yes, the 1700s writing style seems difficult at first. I recently read the entire book and was glad I did. You get used to the stilted style. Franklin was an amazing and important character, and people - especially Americans - should go beyond the caricature of him as an old guy with long hair who flew a kite.

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  • Posted May 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A translation of older language

    This may be difficult to read. It did not absorb me. I found it difficult to understand evrything. Good luck if you choose to tackle this one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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