Ben Franklin: America's Original Entrepreneur, Franklin's Autobiography Adapted for Modern Times / Edition 1

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Overview

You are holding the only modern adaptation of Benjamin Franklin’s 18th century autobiography. It is at its heart one of the greatest business stories ever told. The most versatile Founding Father was a husband, a father, a writer, an inventor, a statesman, a fundraiser and a military leader. But in his mind, he was first and foremost a businessman.

Franklin’s captivating adventures include his almost single-handed responsibility for establishing the first media empire, the first public library, the first fire brigade, the University of Pennsylvania, the first book club and the first franchise—all of which are detailed within these pages with Franklin’s characteristic mix of humility and pride.

Franklin chronicles his own story, from his early days growing up in colonial Boston to his retirement from printing and growing involvement in national politics. It was during these years that he honed his management and leadership skills, acquired a fervent distaste for tyranny of all types, embraced a strong set of morals, and developed an uncompromising work ethic.

From the moment he fled his tyrannical master and set himself up as a printer in Philadelphia, all who came into contact with Franklin recognized his destiny. His wisdom transcends the ages—and his life lessons are insights are as compelling today as ever.

Blaine McCormick, associate dean at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, is a nationally recognized expert on Benjamin Franklin. He has been interviewed by the New York Times, CNN, and Peter Jennings and is the author of Ben Franklin’s 12 Rules of Management.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although this modernized version of Franklin's autobiography achieves its goal of sharing business lessons, it also serves as an accessible-if abbreviated-portrait of the entrepreneur, statesman, scientist and inventor. The author, associate dean for undergraduate programs at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business (and a Franklin scholar), has updated Franklin's 300-year-old text, revising the language and syntax and rearranging some stories so they appear in chronological order. He divides the work into three chunks: Franklin's first 20 years; his years as a Philadelphia printer through his retirement from business in 1748; and his move into the public sphere, as he applied his business know-how to civic, military and diplomatic projects. Each of the 82 short chapters features an introduction contextualizing the events. Some lessons are of the moral variety (honesty is a necessity in all endeavors); others pertain to development (expose yourself to a wide variety of jobs; Franklin worked for his father's candle business, enjoyed watching talented craftsmen at work and toyed with small machines for his science experiments); many are more traditionally business-minded (on partnerships, for example, Franklin advises "clearly defining the roles and expectations of each partner at the very beginning"). History buffs with business interests will enjoy this entertaining, informative account. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Of Benjamin Franklin's many legacies to posterity, the one highlighted here by McCormick (assoc. dean, Hankamer Sch. of Business, Baylor Univ.; Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management) is the wealth of practical advice that he left for aspiring business professionals in his Autobiography. McCormick adapts Franklin's own prose to make his messages more accessible and focused for today's general business readers. In addition to updating Franklin's language, he rearranges the work (with some cuts) into 82 short and highly readable chapters. What shines through is Franklin's business advice, for example, that more can be achieved through cooperation than competition, which communication techniques can be most influential and advantageous, and that people must continuously manage their self-image to be effective in business. Also included are over 100 sidebars, the majority of them containing quotes from Franklin's earlier work, Poor Richard's Almanack, and used here as headings for additional business insights by McCormick for today's audience. This enjoyable book is highly recommended for public libraries and undergraduate business collections, and may be usefully read in combination with McCormick's previous title on Franklin, cited above.-C. Geck, Kean Univ., Union, N.J. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932531688
  • Publisher: Entrepreneur Press dba Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 9.56 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Blaine McCormick, associate dean at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, is a nationally recognized expert on Benjamin Franklin. He has been interviewed by the New York Times, CNN, and Peter Jennings and is the author of Ben Franklin’s 12 Rules of Management.

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