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1. Benjamin Franklin: An American
2. The First American: The Life and
3. Benjamin Franklin Wit and Wisdom
4. From Boyhood to Manhood Life of
5. Autobiography and Other Writings
6. The Real Benjamin Franklin (American
7. The Autobiography of Benjamin
8. The Autobiography of Benjamin
9. A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin
10. Benjamin Franklin (Yale Nota Bene)
11. Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography,
12. The Americanization of Benjamin
13. Benjamin Franklin's the Art of
14. Benjamin Franklin
15. The Printer Boy. - Or How Benjamin
16. The Many Lives of Benjamin Franklin
17. Benjamin Franklin: Young Printer
18. Benjamin Franklin's adventures
19. Benjamin Franklin
20. Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions

1. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
by Walter Isaacson
Paperback: 608 Pages (2004-05-04)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$7.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 074325807X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us, the one who seems made of flesh rather than marble. In this authoritative and engrossing full-scale biography, Walter Isaacson shows how the most fascinating of America's founders helped define our national character.

In a sweeping narrative that follows Franklin's life from Boston to Philadelphia to London and Paris and back, Isaacson chronicles the adventures of the spunky runaway apprentice who became, during his 84-year life, America's best writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, and business strategist, as well as one of its most practical and ingenious political leaders. He explores the wit behind Poor Richard's Almanac and the wisdom behind the Declaration of Independence, the new nation's alliance with France, the treaty that ended the Revolution, and the compromises that created a near-perfect Constitution.

Above all, Isaacson shows how Franklin's unwavering faith in the wisdom of the common citizen and his instinctive appreciation for the possibilities of democracy helped to forge an American national identity based on the virtues and values of its middle class.Amazon.com Review
Benjamin Franklin, writes journalist and biographer Walter Isaacson, was that rare Founding Father who would sooner wink at a passer-by than sit still for a formal portrait. What's more, Isaacson relates in this fluent and entertaining biography, the revolutionary leader represents a political tradition that has been all but forgotten today, one that prizes pragmatism over moralism, religious tolerance over fundamentalist rigidity, and social mobility over class privilege. That broadly democratic sensibility allowed Franklin his contradictions, as Isaacson shows. Though a man of lofty principles, Franklin wasn't shy of using sex to sell the newspapers he edited and published; though far from frivolous, he liked his toys and his mortal pleasures; and though he sometimes gave off a simpleton image, he was a shrewd and even crafty politician. Isaacson doesn't shy from enumerating Franklin’s occasional peccadilloes and shortcomings, in keeping with the iconoclastic nature of our time--none of which, however, stops him from considering Benjamin Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age," and one of the most admirable of any era. And here’s one bit of proof: as a young man, Ben Franklin regularly went without food in order to buy books. His example, as always, is a good one--and this is just the book to buy with the proceeds from the grocery budget. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (244)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, excellent, excellent!
This book is an incredible read and recommended for anyone interested in history, our founding fathers and current politics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Franklin:Great American Super Hero
Mark LaMoure,Boise, ID

I found author Walter Issacson's "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life"to be a 5 Gold Star, captivating book filled with inspiration.Mr. Issacson writes about Franklin's brilliant genius as a nation builder, incredible leader, outstanding political activist, genius inventor, defying rebel and sage the likes of which the world has rarely seen.Benjamin Franklin was an unparalleled founding father who lived 1706 to 1790, during the 13 Colonies, helping build the foundation of the United States of America.

Issacson's book is a masterpiece biography and impressive from cover-to-cover.Benjamin Franklin's achievements are clearly some of the most admirable of anyone in world history.Franklin's signature was the only one written on all 5 key documents that founded the U.S.And look at the power of his results:The United States of America!Today (2010) the U.S. is a country of 310 million people and one of the most powerful country's on earth in many, generous ways.Like a diamond, Benjamin was a sparkling, multifaceted man.Franklin was never an elite, with an easy path, paved with gold being born into blueblood royalty.He was the world's first genius advocating the power of the middle class in America.

You'll discover Franklin was a wise and deeply insightful.He was a super mastermind, or a "Polymath."Franklin succeeded in everything he attempted to do in business, journalism, printing, writing, science, politics and diplomacy.Benjamin's business expertise was extraordinary.He would have been worth an estimated 2 billion dollars minimum, in today's money.Franklin's ability in politics showed he was an incredible pragmatist v.s. political or religious zealot.He was an example from which countless American leaders of today could learn a lot.

Benjamin established the outstanding University of Pennsylvania.He made the scientific discovery that lightening was electricity.Franklin would have earned at least one of today's Nobel Peace Prizes in Physics for his writing's on electricity.Benjamin Franklin was the first to invent bifocal glasses.He created the first Postal Service and Fire Department.Franklin was the first President of the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society against slavery.These major achievements are only a tiny few of his Herculean successes.Today, his incredible inventions and achievements bless people in Americaand worldwide on a daily basis.

You'll enjoy reading Issacson's book.When you finish the book, you'll feel like you personally know Benjamin Franklin.Franklin lived one of those lives that leaves you amazed, astonished and surprised.The book is tremendously exciting and highly educational.Buy it - you will love it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Walter Isaacson
This is the third biography I have read by Isaacson and I have loved them all.
Once again he creates a deep and amazing experience for the reader to really delve into the subject's story.
I also loved Einstein and Kissinger by Isaacson.

5-0 out of 5 stars American Life; American Hero
After reading this brilliantly researched and written biography...I concluded that if there never was a Benjamin Franklin, there would be no United States of America.Ben Franklin was truly an American hero.And so is Walter Isaacson, for bringing this poignant realization to those of us who have so profoundly benefited from the genius, pragmatism, creativity, and character of this unparalleled founding father and human being.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything but a poet (4.5 stars)
Everyone knows good ol' Ben Franklin, the guy who flew a kite in a storm and 'discovered' electricity.Unfortunately, we don't often know much else of what he did, except that he was one of the "Founding Fathers."More than once, while reading this book, someone said to me, "oh yeah, didn't he write the Declaration of Independence?"Um, no.

Benjamin Franklin was a printer, and he made such a good living that he was able to retire from it when he was 40 years old.He published "Poor Richard's Almanac" which included so many aphorisms and popular sayings that a great many of them are still in use today.He started volunteer fire departments and lending libraries and service clubs, and pushed for improvements such as paved streets.He was the postmaster for the colonies and greatly improved the system of mail delivery.He served in many government positions and argued for preserving the freedoms of the citizens.He was an old man by the time war was declared but influenced Thomas Jefferson's writing of the Declaration of Independence and signed it.In fact, he was the only one to sign (and profoundly influence) the four most important documents that began this nation: the Declaration of Independence, the treaty with France for their support of the colonies (while he served as ambassador there), the treaty with England to end the war, and the Constitution.In addition, his scientific contributions over his lifetime made him the foremost American thinker and earned the admiration and friendship of the greatest European minds of the time.

I used to work for the Franklin Day Planner company (long before the merger with Stephen Covey) and they practically idolized his philosophies for self-improvement, turning them into a successful business to help people gain better control over their time and lives (I still consider it one of the best companies I've ever worked for).But as Walter Isaacson points out so well, Franklin was so much more than just one character trait.He consciously worked on improving himself in many ways.He may not have had much success with humility (he couldn't help but take pride in his accomplishments) and he certainly wasn't a decent husband and father to his own family (preferring the surrogate families he surrounded himself with in England and France on his excessively long stays there) but his other accomplishments were many.Although initially reluctant to break ties with England, once he made up his mind there was no turning back and he was as essential to independence as any of the founding fathers.

Isaacson numbers his shortcomings along with his successes and presents a fairly well-balanced portrait of this giant of a man, and makes it all very readable and even entertaining.He addresses the critics of Franklin through the years, such as the "Romantics" of the early 19th century who complained about his folksy image and championship of middle class values (Herman Melville grudgingly called Franklin "everything but a poet"), and since his day Franklin and his thinking has drifted in and out of style.We may not always recognize the pervasive ways he's influenced society today, but he's always there. ... Read more

2. The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin
by H.W. Brands
Paperback: 784 Pages (2002-03-12)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$7.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385495404
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
He was the foremost American of his day, yet today he is little more than a mythic caricature in the public imagination. Benjamin Franklin, perhaps the pivotal figure in colonial and revolutionary America, comes vividly to life in this masterly biography.
Wit, diplomat, scientist, philosopher, businessman, inventor, and bon vivant, Benjamin Franklin was in every respect America’s first Renaissance man. From penniless runaway to highly successful printer, from ardently loyal subject of Britain to architect of an alliance with France that ensured America’s independence, Franklin went from obscurity to become one of the world’s most admired figures, whose circle included the likes of Voltaire, Hume, Burke, and Kant. Drawing on previously unpublished letters and a host of other sources, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands has written a thoroughly engaging biography of the eighteenth-century genius. A much needed reminder of Franklin’s greatness and humanity, The First American is a work of meticulous scholarship that provides a magnificent tour of a legendary historical figure, a vital era in American life, and the countless arenas in which the protean Franklin left his legacy.Amazon.com Review
Benjamin Franklin may have been the most remarkable American ever to live: a printer, scientist, inventor, politician, diplomat, and--finally--an icon. His life was so sweeping that this comprehensive biography by H.W. Brands at times reads like a history of the United States during the 18th century. Franklin was at the center of America's transition from British colony to new nation, and was a kind of Founding Grandfather to the Founding Fathers; he was a full generation older than George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry, and they all viewed him with deep respect. "Of those patriots who made independence possible, none mattered more than Franklin, and only Washington mattered as much," writes Brands (author of a well-received Teddy Roosevelt biography, T.R.: The Last Romantic). Franklin was a complex character who sometimes came up a bit short in the personal virtue department, once commenting, "That hard-to-be-governed passion of youth had hurried me frequently into intrigues with low women that fell in my way." When he married, another woman was already pregnant with his child--a son he took into his home and had his wife raise.

Franklin is best remembered for other things, of course. His still-famous Poor Richard's Almanac helped him secure enough financial freedom as a printer to retire and devote himself to the study of electricity (which began, amusingly, with experiments on chickens). His mind never rested: He invented bifocals, the armonica (a musical instrument made primarily of glass), and, in old age, a mechanical arm that allowed him to reach books stored on high shelves. He served American interests as a diplomat in Europe; without him, France might not have intervened in the American Revolution. He helped draft the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He possessed a sense of humor, too. In 1776, when John Hancock urged the colonies to "hang together," Franklin is said to have commented, "We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately." Franklin's accomplishments were so numerous and varied that they threaten to read like a laundry list. Yet Brands pours them into an engrossing narrative, and they leap to life on these pages as the grand story of an exceptional man. The First American is an altogether excellent biography. --John J. Miller ... Read more

Customer Reviews (136)

5-0 out of 5 stars Large Detailed Book on the Amazing life of Benjamin Franklin
This book is literally two volumes on Franklin made into one that provides just about everything you wanted to know about this extraordinary man. A truly amazing rags to riches story starting his voyage by fleeing from his brother's printing shop where he was literally an indentured servant and ends up in Philadelphia. The author provides an amazing amount of detail on Franklin's life with a good view of his personality that is amicable that although the leading printer in his new City cannot employ him, refers him to a competitor's printer while temporarily housing him. This is a very large book primarily due to Franklin's exhausting accomplishments from his advances in the print world eventually to run hi sown company to his experiments in electricity that make him a renown scientist all over the western world. His advances include serving as a colonel in the militia during, starting a Fire Department, running the postal service in a wide section of the colonies, representing serving colonial charters and colonies as a representative in England while being successful in assisting in the repeal of the Stamp Act. Franklin, as noted by the author, has such good standing that his son is named governor of New Jersey by the crown. As noted in the fascinating prologue, when Franklin, serving as a colonial representative, is humiliated in Parliament over the release of confidential letters from the English government, England loses its best friend to America. In addition, as the author notes, Franklin's unique ability to negotiate, as he later proves with the France, made him a necessary ally that England needed desperately. I found the first 500 pages the most interesting since the author fills any void that a reader may not know of Franklin's doings before the revolution and that is appropriate because his accomplishments are so immense. I was a little surprised that there wasn't more detail on Franklin and Jefferson regarding the Declaration of Independence; however, Franklin acted more as an editor enhancing the document and his skills were so great, his efforts, although substantial were not time consuming as they were proficient. Another area that may have required more detail was the relationship between Franklin and his wife. Franklin spends years away from home while his wife did not accompany him to Europe and when ill, Franklin is too far away to return in time for her death. The author covers Franklin so well that he blankets his every move; this may seem more of a challenge for those wanting a briefer account of Franklin's life. However, if you are looking for the most detailed biography of Franklin, then this book will enrich you.

5-0 out of 5 stars The First American; The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin
I really enjoyed reading this biography of Franklin as it was not only very informative but easy to read, moving along like a good novel. There were so many areas of his life I was unaware of until I read this book. A self made man who started with next to nothing to become one of the wealthier Pennsylvanians and the most influential Americans of the period, we are usually left in the dark as to how he acquired his wealth and influence. The author also, using Franklin's own writings, lets you look into how his brilliant scientific mind worked. Some of the answers he suspected explained questions of the time, wouldn't be proven correct for two hundred years when we would finally develop the technology to discover and prove their causes. The look into his family life was wonderful also and his description of Franklin and his son William proving lightning was electricity with his kite and key experiment made me feel I was right there watching. In a time when more focus is given to his sex life than to his accomplishments it was refreshing to find just how little there actually is to hang this distortion on. While the author clearly shows that he did have some extra marital affairs, most of them appear to be in his youth before he was married. As far as the ones he's most 'famous' for in his later years, the correspondences between Franklin and these women clearly show that he struck out every time he came to bat. They also show that it wasn't for lack of trying on his part. The close look into his work as a representative to London for several Colonies before the war, and his work at the Constitutional Convention after the war, were fascinating views into the struggles and issues of these key moments in our nations history.

In the end I walked away from this book feeling like I actually got to know Franklin the person, a wonderful man and a beautiful mind, applied properly at the right place and time in history. A man who's sense of charity and duty to his fellow man alone would have fixed him in our pantheon had he never ventured into politics.

3-0 out of 5 stars This should be a lot shorter and sweeter
This book has so much information on Franklin that I just dont care about. It even has information on people who interacted with Franklin, and some of their doings and thoughts. Lots of quoting letters and this and that, it gets really boring. This is not at all like "John Adams" by McCullough. I really dont want to know about every interaction and argument he had with everyone he ever met in his life.When you have to make yourself read when you really dont want to, you know the book is not very engaging.

If your into this mans life hardcore, this is your book, otherwise look for something else.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thorough and detailed
This is an excellent and extremely thorough biography of Benjamin Franklin.It's a long book, which goes into great and occasionally tedious detail of every aspect of Franklin's life. My only complaints are more with the breadth of Franklin's experiences than any real failing on the part of the author.Franklin the scientist, soldier, printer, adventurer, philosopher, journalist, social activist, bon vivant and ladies' man are all fascinating portraits.Franklin the politician and ambassador are at times crushingly dull.

5-0 out of 5 stars The First American: The Life & Times of Benjamin Franklin
Have not finished novel, but so far a really interesting & great read. I prefer fiction and have rarely read historical novels, but this one is really, really good! ... Read more

3. Benjamin Franklin Wit and Wisdom (Americana Pocket Gift Editions)
by Benjamin Franklin
Hardcover: 64 Pages (1998-04-01)
list price: US$4.95 -- used & new: US$0.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0880880813
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A collection of sayings from many different editions of Bens Poor Richards Almanack. 64-page hardcover pocket gift book with dust jacket, 3-1/4'' wide by 5-3/8'' high. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Franklin's Works
Densely-packed with primary Franklin sources. Physically hefty. Fairly transparent index, but could be somewhat more plain-spoken. Franklin might not have approved. Takes the average reader far beyond the kite-and-key story and the Franklin sexual escapades stories into the brain of a genius. Book is a best buy regardless of price.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great volume of a great man for your shelf on the founding
Benjamin Franklin is one of the great icons of the American Founding.He is truly one of the essential men who built our nation and deserves every praise we can heap on him.When we see images of the founders, they are all shown as old men, not how old they were in 1776.Franklin was really a generation older than most of the firebrands who led the Revolution.He was seventy when he signed the Declaration of Independence (John Adams was 41, George Washington 44, and Thomas Jefferson 33 on July 4, 1776) and eighty-one when he signed our Constitution as a member of the delegation from Pennsylvania.He was an amazing man.He was a successful printer, inventor, philanthropist, revolutionary, diplomat, and all around student of the world.

This fine volume from the wonderful Library of America is a collection of this great man's writings.From early articles in his brother's newspaper, to the Preface and Maxims of the Poor Richard's Almanac, essays, speeches, letters, the FOUR parts of his autobiography, and much else.You will read about his inventing the two-part spectacles and see his own diagram of his bi-focals, his views on slavery, why paper money was needed to help enliven commerce and the dangers of too much of it, his views on religion, his speech before the Constitutional Convention of the dangers of paying representatives at Congress, and so much more that is fundamental to our founding and all of it is amazingly interesting.

This book is interesting to dip into and read just those portions that interest you, as well as reading its more than 1,500 pages front to back.It has great notes on the text that provide contextual and translation help as well as sources, a most interesting chronology of Franklin's long and productive life, and an index.

This certainly is a must have for your shelf on the history of America's Founding.

5-0 out of 5 stars Too Long Overlooked
This collection of Franklin's writing display his quick mind, mathematical gifts, great sense of humor, detachment in crisis, and the razor-sharp diplomatic mind which did more than supposed for the American cause (more so than than Adams and others thought). An American genius and a true seer of note. A book to be enjoyed again and again.

4-0 out of 5 stars small book for the price
The contents are wonderful.Some are funny and yet they are true!All can be applied in today's world!Yet, the cost is bigger than the book itself!It is a small 'coffee table' book that should be at a cheaper price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Modern Compilation of Franklin's Writings
The Library of America should be commended for preserving the works of Benjamin Franklin. This is the finest compilation of Franklin's writings still in print.

The book is organized and presented in chronological order. The first section contains Franklin's writings between 1722-1726. This section contains the famous "Silence Dogood" works. The second section consists of writings between 1726-1757. This section contains the "Busy Body" pieces and the writings from the Philadelphia Gazette, amongst other works. The third section consists of writings which date between 1757-1775. The fourth section consists of writings between 1776-1785. The fifth section consists of writings between 1785-1790. And the final two sections are "Poor Richard's Almanack" and "The Autobiography."

Moreover, the sections contain personal letters between Franklin and other notable men such as David Hume, Lord Kames, John Pringle, Benjamin Rush, etc. Also, religious writings, philosophy, political writings and the like are present in this single volume. In fact, there is about 1500 pages of just Franklin's writings. Additionally, in the back of the book, there is a very detailed chronology of Franklin's life describing notable things which occurred between his birth and death.

This is a great text for those who are wanting a very detailed volume of Franklin's writings. However, it is also a great compilation for those who simply want to sit down and get a sample of the works of Franklin to find out what type of man he was, what he believed, what he taught, his sense of humor and the like.

This book has been one of the best investments that I have made in my collection of American Revolutionary (Founders) history. I highly recommend this work. ... Read more

4. From Boyhood to Manhood Life of Benjamin Franklin
by W. M. (William Makepeace) Thayer
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKS0DU
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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

5. Autobiography and Other Writings (Oxford World's Classics)
by Benjamin Franklin
Paperback: 400 Pages (2009-01-15)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$5.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0199554900
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Franklin's writings span a long and distinguished career of literary, scientific, and political inquiry--the work of a man whose life lasted for nearly all of the 18th century, and whose achievements ranged from inventing the lightning rod to publishing Poor Richard's Almanac to signing the Declaration of Independence. In his own lifetime, Franklin knew prominence not only in America but also in Britain and France. Here was a cosmopolitan statesman, public servant, inventor, and editor with a distinctly Yankee sensibility; here was a moral philosopher who divided his faith between the natural sciences and the American experiment. This volume includes Franklin's reflections on such diverse issues as reason and religion, social status, electricity, America's national character and characters, war, and the societal status of women. Also included is a new transcription of his 1726 journal, and several pieces that have only recently been identified as Franklin's work. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Bought this as a gift for a friend
I bought this for a friend of mine and he has had enjoyed this book as he loves history.It had a great price and has been a welcome edition to his book collection!Great product!

4-0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Franklin
Very interesting read. Gets a bit tedious at the end, but well worth the read for the first 2/3rd alone. Just wish we had more politicians like him now, who put the country and people before his own bank account. Everyone could learn from his example of self betterment, education and civic service for the sole purpose of making oneself a better human being and useful to others w/o the need for a $ payout.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening, should be required reading for every high school student.
The print is small and hard to read, but the information about and by Benjamin Franklin is incredible that one man could be that involved and informative, inventive and so unique.

5-0 out of 5 stars Franklin's informal account of his remarkable life
In many ways, this is, to someone coming to it for the first time, a very surprising book. For one thing, it is amazingly incomplete. Franklin is, of course, one of the most famous Americans who ever lived, and his accomplishments in a wide array of endeavors are a part of American lore and popular history. A great deal of this lore and many of his accomplishments are missing from this account of his life. He never finished the autobiography, earlier in his life because he was too busy with what he terms public "employments," and later in life because the opium he was taking for kidney stones left him unable to concentrate sufficiently. Had Franklin been able to write about every period of his life and all of his achievements, his AUTOBIOGRAPHY would have been one of the most remarkable documents every produced. It is amazingly compelling in its incomplete state.
As a serious reader, I was delighted in the way that Franklin is obsessed with the reading habits of other people. Over and over in the course of his memoir, he remarks that such and such a person was fond of reading, or owned a large number of books, or was a poet or author. Clearly, it is one of the qualities he most admires in others, and one of the qualities in a person that makes him want to know a person. He finds other readers to be kindred souls.

If one is familiar with the Pragmatists, one finds many pragmatist tendencies in Franklin's thought. He is concerned less with ideals than with ideas that work and are functional. For instance, at one point he implies that while his own beliefs lean more towards the deistical, he sees formal religion as playing an important role in life and society, and he goes out of his way to never criticize the faith of another person. His pragmatism comes out also in list of the virtues, which is one of the more famous and striking parts of his book. As is well known, he compiled a list of 13 virtues, which he felt summed up all the virtues taught by all philosophers and religions. But they are practical, not abstract virtues. He states that he wanted to articulate virtues that possessed simple and not complex ideas. Why? The simpler the idea, the easier to apply. And in formulating his list of virtues, he is more concerned with the manner in which these virtues can be actualized in one's life. Franklin has utterly no interest in abstract morality.

One of Franklin's virtues is humility, and his humility comes out in the form of his book. His narrative is exceedingly informal, not merely in the first part, which was ostensibly addressed to his son, but in the later sections (the autobiography was composed upon four separate occasions). The informal nature of the book displays Franklin's intended humility, and for Franklin, seeming to be so is nearly as important as actually being so. For part of the function of the virtues in an individual is not merely to make that particular person virtuous, but to function as an example to others. This notion of his being an example to other people is one of the major themes in his book. His life, he believes, is an exemplary one. And he believes that by sharing the details of his own life, he can serves as a template for other lives.

One striking aspect of his book is what one could almost call Secular Puritanism. Although Franklin was hardly a prude, he was nonetheless very much a child of the Puritans. This is not displayed merely in his promotion of the virtues, but in his abstaining from excessiveness in eating, drinking, conversation, or whatever. Franklin is intensely concerned with self-governance.

I think anyone not having read this before will be surprised at how readable and enjoyable this is. I think also one can only regret that Franklin was not able to write about the entirety of his life. He was a remarkable man with a remarkable story to tell.

4-0 out of 5 stars The soul of the American pragmatic spirit
For many this is this Letter of advice from Franklin to his son is the perfect embodiment of wisdom of American business success. For D.H.Lawrence however it showed the 'shop-keeping ' lack of soul, of Franklin and he mocked him in his 'Classic Studies on American Literature'.
In this work Franklin creates and promotes the legend of himself. He is a great inventor, a fabulous pragmatist. He also tells the story of his own rise , and shows how hard work and going through times of difficulty with determination and strength are important.
The work contains much of the kind of pithy wisdom Franklin made himself known with in America through 'Poor Richard's Almanac'
It is not a full biography, and it of course omits many other sides of the mind and character of this complex genius. ... Read more

6. The Real Benjamin Franklin (American Classic Series)
by Andrew M. Allison
Paperback: 504 Pages (1982-08-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0880800011
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Real Benjamin Franklin: The True Story of America's Greatest Diplomat. There are many Benjamin Franklins -- or at least he has taken on many different forms in the history books of the last two centuries. Some historians have shown us an aged statesman whose wise and steadying influence kept the Constitutional Convention together in 1787, while others have conjured up sensational tales of a lecherous old diplomat. Unfounded myths are now being repeated and embellished in school textbooks and educational television programs.

Which of all these Benjamin Franklins, if any, is real? This book is an attempt to answer that question. The Real Benjamin Franklin seats us across the table from the one person who really knew Benjamin Franklin -- that is, Franklin himself -- and gives him an opportunity to explain his life and ideas in his own words. Part I of this book details his exciting biography, and Part II includes his most important and insightful writings, all carefully documented from original sources.

Highly acclaimed by many, including Glenn Beck of the Fox News Channel. Published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, a nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to restoring Constitutional principles in the tradition of America's Founding Fathers. The National Center for Constitutional Studies...is doing a fine public service in educating Americans about the principles of the Constitution. -- Ronald Reagan, President of the United States

... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Keep Our HIstory Alive
Got for all in my Family. Must have the "Real History" of our Country to teach the Children. They're Not Teaching it in the schools today......sad.

5-0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Franklin Read
I have always been interested in our country.It is imperative that we learn from history.In my view based on what is going on now we have learned little if anything.This is a great following to Original Intent, John Adams and By This Standard.These books should all be in our schools and public libraries.If you are concerned about the direction of our country read this book and many of your questions will be answered.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent - Couldn't Put It Down
Excellent - Couldn't Put It Down.I was afraid it would be boring but it wasn't.My 14 yr. old son also read and enjoyed it.I finished this several months ago and have gone back and re-read various sections.The reference section and Writings section are a huge bonus as well.I would recommend this book for the casual reader as well as for advanced study. check out The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series) and The Real George Washington (American Classic Series) as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars the real benjamin franklin
A classic that everyone should read. Delivered quickly and in great condition. Bully. A 5 star performance.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most unbiased book on a founder
I truly can not begin to even comprehend how someone can call this book biased in any way. It talks about Franklin's life, basically, his growing up and the events that lead to the way he thought about things. It talks about his greatest accomplishments and sorts out the myths about him. I have fallen in love (not really in love) with another founder through reading this book.

Who knew it was Franklin who came up with "as snug as a bug in a rug". ... Read more

7. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
by Benjamin Franklin
Kindle Edition: Pages (1994-07-01)
list price: US$0.00
Asin: B000JMLMXI
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. Uniform title: Autobiography ... Read more

Customer Reviews (127)

3-0 out of 5 stars A nice history, but doesn't include the revolution.
Overall an interesting book that details the first fifty years or so of Benjamin Franklin's life. As one of America's most interesting and charismatic founding fathers, this book does outline nicely the methods and reason that formed the personality that he is. Unfortunately the book cuts off in approximately 1755 and does not cover any of the American revolution at all. There really is no fault to be had of that because of how and when this was written, but I would advice to any reader that, that content is no in this volume.

The only other major complaint of the book is that it can be at times difficult to read since there are no chapters. The book is one continual exposition of Mr. Franklin's life which at times jumps around in content. I often found myself lost or confused as to what was being discussed if I took long periods of time between readings.

Overall though this is a nice book to read if you are looking at some background into the life of Benjamin Franklin.

3-0 out of 5 stars Omitting the interesting stuff

Franklin wrote this autobiography thinking about how he wanted to be remembered, not how he was. As a result, you won't find anything in it about his illegitimate child(ren) or the Hell-fire Club. You won't find much about the Court of St. James. You will find a reasonably good account of his youth and adolescence, but when it gets to his adulthood, he--how do we put this?--he told the truth but not the whole truth. Possibly he told nothing but the truth, but I say again, he didn't tell the whole truth. I expected this book to be longer and more interesting than it was.

3-0 out of 5 stars Autobiography of Ben Franklin
I was disappointed. I am an admirer of the good Dr. and figured I'd go to the source! Well, what I read was fine ... but it ended rather abruptly. It seemed like maybe his effort was never truly finished.It stops in the middle of life. There was still so much left to write!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read
I am a history bug and I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. I read it on my Mac with the Kindle application and enjoyed it so much that my wife bought me a Kindle for my birthday. Amazon has many titles at no charge. Some are so so, but for me, this was a great trip back in time with one of the most gifted minds of the enlightenment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Suggested to all young men to enter the world
I came across this book without prior intent to find it. Having read it, I believe it beneficial to recommend any young man at the end of his schooling, about to embark on life in the "real world," To read this publication. ... Read more

8. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1757)
by Benjamin Franklin
Paperback: 228 Pages (2007-07-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$7.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596980303
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9. A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin (Picture Book Biography)
by David Adler, John Wallner, Alexandra Wallner
Paperback: 28 Pages (1991-03)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$2.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823408825
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Surveys the life of Benjamin Franklin, highlighting his work as an inventor and statesman.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

I like to use this wonderful little book as a supplemental when teaching early American History to the young ones.No book can cover it all and there are plenty out there that cover Revolutionary America during this era.After the children get an overall view of what is happening (other books and lecture), it is rather nice to have this little book, and others like it, to show that these great men were actually human and led lives much like the rest of us.For children to grow up understanding and appreciating our history, I feel this is quite important.This book helps a lot.Highly recommend this one.The illustration are quite good, the text is very readable and not at all boring.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but a little lacking
My children found this book to be interesting and informative about the life and lifestyle of Ben Franklin but a little lacking in the details of why he is important historically (Declaration of Independence, founding father, etc.). It is a small complaint perhaps, but the books in these series seem to focus on the personalities and idiosyncracies of the characters to the detriment of their accomplishments historically.

5-0 out of 5 stars History
1) It is a book about Benjamin Franklin growing up in life.
2) I think it is a good american revolution book.
3) it dosn't have a story element in it.
4) I gave it five stars because i passed the test with a 100%. Plus it was easy and good.

4-0 out of 5 stars Believe in yourself
(1) It was about Benjamin Franklin helping his brother and,his brother found out about what he was doing when he was printingthe paper. And he invented alot of stuff.
(2)It was okay but the book was to shor tans it only took me 15 minutes to read it. That's why it's okay.
(3) My story had the element irony in it because I thought that the book was going to tell about him when he was just little.
(4) I recommend this book to people who like reading Historic books and I rated it 4 stars because it was to short.

5-0 out of 5 stars lots of great info
We read this book in our homeschool history class.It's great for colonial unit study.Even mom learned a few new things about Ben Franklin!How cool is that! ... Read more

10. Benjamin Franklin (Yale Nota Bene)
by Edmund S. Morgan
Paperback: 352 Pages (2003-09-24)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300101627
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The greatest statesman of his age, Benjamin Franklin was also a pioneering scientist, a successful author, the first American postmaster general, a printer, a bon vivant. In addition, he was a man of vast contradictions. This best-selling biography by one of our greatest historians offers a compact and provocative new portrait of America's most extraordinary patriot. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

3-0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Franklin
There are many books on Benjamin Franklin's life. Some are better than others, and some are worse. But Edmund S. Morgan's biography titled Benjamin Franklin is defiantly one of the better ones out there. His book is easy to read, gives you a lot of information in a relatively short amount of pages, and is well written. The reader is kept entertained all throughout the book while still learning about Benjamin Franklin's life, in a quick and easy to read manner. Benjamin Franklin by Edmund S. Morgan is a great book.
Edmund Morgan's book is easy to read. The way he wrote it keeps the reader interested in the plot. He wrote it in such a way that it feels like you are reading a story instead of a biography. He makes Benjamin Franklin more relatable to the reader. Morgan wrote about Benjamin Franklin in a way that made it seem like he was just a normal person. The author uses everyday language in the book. There aren't any confusing words or sentences. The exert, "A stretch of the imagination was already needed to regard the consent of a representative ad the consent of the people who chose him"(page 95), shows that even when describing some thing that can get a little confusing, the reader can still follow what is going on.
For a short book, Benjamin Franklin gives the reader a lot of information. The book covers most, if not all, of Benjamin Franklin's life. It starts out from when he was in his early teens, and ends with his death. The book goes through his life at a fast but reasonable rate, leaving nothing out. Although it gives you a lot of information, it didn't seem like you were reading fact after fact after fact. It flowed though Franklin's life leaving nothing out. The book even told lesser known facts about Franklin. In the beginning of the book when we are just being introduced to Franklin, we are told of a story from when he was in his early twenties, he and his friends stole a boat so they would be able to get back to their homes safely very early in the morning. And the book continues to give you little antidotes through out the book.So, in that way the reader is refreshing the knowledge that they already had about Benjamin Franklin, and learning about things that they didn't know about him as well.
Benjamin Franklin is a very well written book. The author researched Benjamin Franklin thoroughly after reading the volumes of Benjamin Franklin's Papers, a book put together by a bunch pf scholars. The book contains all of the writings that Benjamin Franklin has written. After reading the volumes, Edmund S. Morgan researched and read more about Benjamin Franklin, and was inspired to write this book. Once again, the reader doesn't get too bored while reading the book. Morgan found away to give the reader all of the facts about Franklin's life, without making it seem too factual or boring in the least bit. Although, some parts do get a little long and drawn out, they aren't completely boring. There is still an interest level that the reader keeps throughout the whole book.
There are a lot of biographies of Benjamin Franklin, and some are good, while others are bad. But .Edmund S. Morgan's biography Benjamin Franklin is a book that is easy to read, gives the reader a lot of information in a short amount of pages and time, and is very well written. Through antidotes, and little known facts about Benjamin Franklin, Morgan tells the tale of Franklins life in a way that will keep the reader entertain and coming back for more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ben Franklin short biography
This book is presented so well.The author finds Franklin as a teenager in Philadelphia not sure of where he's going or what he's doing.He takes us through Franklin's early scientific studies and into his life as a printer.Franklin loved the idea of an Anglo-American empire and fought stallwartly for that end.He wined and dined with the highest high-brows in London trying to facillitate that end and finally came home to help write the Declaration of Independence when the Britons didn't see the value of his ideas.They were more inclined to taxation without representation and as we know that did not work out well for them in the end.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Benjamim Franklin and/or the events of political, colonial America prior to the American Revolution.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Human Side of Benjamin Franklin
This is an insightful, relatively brief (yet complete) account of the contributions of Benjamin Franklin.Of special interest to me were the gradual modifications of his loyalties prior to the revolutionary war and the extent of his contributions (mostly without portfolio) as a statesman of the world.

3-0 out of 5 stars What could have been...
I approached this book with great expectations, the title alone offers the reader a hope of something gained, something learned from such a landmark individual.It will disappoint if this is your expectation, however it will also keep you reading.I finished this book, despite my difficulty in finishing most books.Morgan's writing can be extremely cluttered at times, using double-negatives again and again so that you re-read the same sentence three times to make sure you understand what he means.Instead of using periods he employs commas, to the dismay of a reader who can only hold the theme of the sentence in mind for so long.I have to imagine there were books better written about Franklin, but if you decide on this one, you will still walk away with a remarkable image of the man.It's like a college survey course, if you are truly interested, there is more in-depth material out there for you to explore.Just don't expect this book to cover Franklin and his achievements in a complete way, it's not the intent of the author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Historical book
gave this as a gift after my husband LOVED it ---it was greatly appreciated by the recipient -Ben Franklin rocks! ... Read more

11. Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography, Poor Richard, and Later Writings (Library of America)
by Benjamin Franklin
Hardcover: 816 Pages (2005-10-06)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$17.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883011531
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"Writing has been of Great Use to me in the Course of my Life," Benjamin Franklin said in his famous Autobiography. With characteristically calculated understatement, he attributed his enormous and varied successes to "my having learnt a little to scribble."

This collection of Franklin's works begins with letters sent from London (1757-1775) describing the events and diplomacy preceding the Revolutionary War. The volume also contains political satires, bagatelles, pamphlets, and letters written in Paris (1776-1785), where he represented the revolutionary United States at the court of Louis XVI, as well as his speeches given in the Constitutional Convention and other works written in Philadelphia (1785-1790), including his last published article, a searing satire against slavery.

Also included are the delightfully shrewd prefaces to Poor Richard's Almanack (1733-1758) and their worldly, pungent maxims that have entered our American culture. Finally, the classic Autobiography, Franklin's last word on his greatest literary creation-his own invented personality-is presented here in a new edition, completely faithful to Franklin's manuscript.

A companion volume includes the complete "Silence Dogood" series, "Busy-Body" essays, and a generous selection of his early writings, including letters to the press, satires, and pamphlets. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Writings of Franklin
Franklin was a facinating guy and incredible problem-solver. His poor beginning made him somewhat overly facinated with "nobles" and "royalty" - strange from someone whose innovations and writings helped make the first modern representative democracy possible. The autobiography at the end, and his science experiments are probably the most interesting parts. He tends to ramble a bit; he never seemed to follow through with any project, due to his interest in just about anything - this makes the reading part fascinating and part frustrating.

5-0 out of 5 stars The second volume of essential writings by one of our essential revolutionaries
This fine volume from the wonderful Library of America, is a collection of the great Benjamin Franklin's later writings.It is the second volume of what used to be a single huge book from the LOA.This volume begins with Franklin's letters from his time as a diplomat in London, and then his pamphlets, political satires, and other writings when he represented our Revolutionary Government from 1776-1785 from Paris at the doomed court of Louis VI.His writings from the Constitutional Convention and writings from Philadelphia after his return to the United States are also included.Probably the most popular items included will be the Preface and Maxims of the Poor Richard's Almanac and the FOUR parts of his autobiography.Franklin is simply an amazing man.

Benjamin Franklin is one of the great icons of the American Founding.He is truly one of the essential men who built our nation and deserves every praise we can heap on him.When we see images of the founders, they are all shown as old men, not how old they were in 1776.Franklin was really a generation older than most of the firebrands who led the Revolution.He was seventy when he signed the Declaration of Independence (John Adams was 41, George Washington 44, and Thomas Jefferson 33 on July 4, 1776) and eighty-one when he signed our Constitution as a member of the delegation from Pennsylvania.He was an amazing man.He was a successful printer, inventor, philanthropist, revolutionary, diplomat, and all around student of the world.

This book is interesting to dip into and read just those portions that interest you, as well as reading its more than 800 pages front to back.It has great notes on the text that provide contextual and translation help as well as sources, a most interesting chronology of Franklin's long and productive life, and an index.

This certainly is a must have for your shelf on the history of America's Founding. ... Read more

12. The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin
by Gordon S. Wood
Paperback: 320 Pages (2005-05-31)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$4.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143035282
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
From the most respected chronicler of the early days of the Republic—and winner of both the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes—comes a landmark work that rescues Benjamin Franklin from a mythology that has blinded generations of Americans to the man he really was and makes sense of aspects of his life and career that would have otherwise remained mysterious. In place of the genial polymath, self-improver, and quintessential American, Gordon S. Wood reveals a figure much more ambiguous and complex—and much more interesting. Charting the passage of Franklin’s life and reputation from relative popular indifference (his death, while the occasion for mass mourning in France, was widely ignored in America) to posthumous glory, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin sheds invaluable light on the emergence of our country’s idea of itself. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

4-0 out of 5 stars History vs. His Story
First off, this is history, not hagiography, unlike much of what it commonly available on BF. Even The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is mythologized to some degree, written as it was with varying degrees of jaundiced eye as he aged, that eye as well turned toward writing a work to affect the world, and especially the youth of the future, in specific ways. Also, this work is scholarly, though perhaps not quite so musty as most books which can claim that adjective rightly. The endnotes are a wealth of asides, and copious sources, for those who are into such things (as am I).

These facts conspire to produce a portrait of Franklin at once more thorough and less flattering than the one proffered by the oral traditions of Philadelphia--a city that honors him more today than it ever did while yet he lived, though it was never slow to make use of his talents when doing so was expedient. A case in point would be the extensive period he spent, prior to the start of the American Revolution, as perhaps America's foremost British apologist; indeed, during his time in London as a negotiator--first for Pennsylvania, and later for the colonies as a whole--his works and speeches were almost entirely at odds, not only with his present day image, but with almost the entirety of the population he was supposedly there to represent. And that's only half the reason why John Adams hated him.

In short, I would recommend this book highly to those who like their reading unfluffy and well balanced and don't mind wading though occasional examples of the Elegant and Affect'd style of Colonial Correspondans.

2-0 out of 5 stars Forced thesis wilfully misinterprets some facts, ignores others
Franklin's life shows that he was not just a major genius, but he was also a true philanthropist, and a superb pragmatist.His AMERICAN patriotism is an outcome of these qualities.Unfortunately Gordon Wood, instead of integrating Franklin's life, attempts to portray Franklin as completely loyal to the British Empire, until the Revolution was upon us.
Look at the way Wood twists a major piece of evidence of Franklin's AMERICANISM. As far back as 1751, Franklin had proposed a plan whereby the North American Colonies would organize together for their defense -- without any okay from England.When that proved to be impossible, Franklin, ever the pragmatic practicioner of the 'art of the possible' in politics, initiated a conference in Albany.He was responsible for putting the conference together, and he prepared a detailed plan whereby the Colonies would defend themselves against the French and their Indian allies.These 1754 "Albany Resolves" sought approval of the Colonies and of the British government.Of course the government would have none of it.They knew that if the Colonies could begin to act in concert, the next step would be the demand for independence.So Gordon Wood presents Franklin's minor retreat as evidence that he was working for the benefit of Britain, rather than the North American Colonies.Wood stands Franklin on his head here.
Consider Franklin's 1751 satire in the Pennsylvania Gazette -- a venture in the spirit if Swift's Modest Proposal.Here, Franklin suggests that inasmuch as "Great Britain" is sending the worst sort of convicts to America, we should return the favor: we don't have many murderers to send them, but we have abundant rattle-snakes.These snakes will serve Great Britain in the same was their convicts serve us.It's clever, it's biting, and it's so AMERICAN that Franklin used the pseudonym "Americanus."Since this writing shatters Wood's thesis, he sees no need to bring it up.
Returning to 1754, Franklin published the first AMERICAN political cartoon: his famous snake cut into eight pieces, each with the initial of a colony, with the famous motto "JOIN, or DIE".
Wood can only be duplicitious when he ignores Franklin's devastating essay of 1767: "Right, Wrong, and Reasonable."This lays out in some detail British abuses of America.Wood likewise ignores Franklin's three "New Fables" of January 2, 1770.These fables forecast American inderpendence and colonial unity.The first fable, dealing with Britain's economic colonial policy is short, so here it is:
"A herd of cows had long afforded Plenty of Milk, Butter and cheese to an avaritious [sic] Farmer, who grudged them the Grass they subsisted on, and at length mowed it to make Money of the Hay, leaving them to shift for Food as they could, and yet still expected to milk them as before; but the Cows, offended with his Unreasonableness, resolved for the future to suckle one another."
One other point -- Franklin was noted for his use of personas.Poor Richard Saunders was his most famous, and Silence Dogood is also well known.But he used personas all the time.Several of his personas were loyal Englishmen, who made statements sometimes pro-American, and sometimes purportedly pro-Britain, but actually undercutting Britain's case against the Colonies.It is either a mistake, or deceit, to construe literally the utterances of the personas as though they were really Franklin himself.
Franklin not only used personas.He liked to put himself into the background of the many civic organizations he organized.Making it appear that other men were the prime movers was his best style.
Finally (really) -- Franklin was so dynamic that we tend to forget that he was old enough to be Washington's father.He was the point soldier in getting the Revolution started.Don't waste your money on Wood.If you don't have it yet, try to get Franklin's Writings -- Library of America.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wood at his best
Always wanted to read a good bio on Franklin but didn't want hundreds and hundreds of pages. Wood who is a superb writer of American Colonial History (like Joseph Ellis), really informs you what Franklin was like, and his true story, not the watered down history of your 2nd grade textbook.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin is outstanding biography from the pen of the eminent historian Gordon S., Wood
Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) is the founding father more Americans admire than any other. However, it is also true that Franklin the man is little understood. This situation is remedied in this excellent short work by Dr. Gordon S. Wood who is America's foremost historian of the colonial, revolutionary and early republican period
of our nation's history.
Wood begins by stating that Franklin has come to symbolize the Horatio Alger, pull yourself up by the bootstaps lad who through hard work, clean living, frugality and dedication makes a success of himself. Franklin was a hard worker who was born the 15th of 17 children to a Boston soapmaker in 1706. He left Boston for Philadelphia at the age of 17.
In the City of Brotherly Love he became a famous printer and newspaper editor. He was also a tireless social reformer organizing the local militia, volunteer fire department, free public library, creating the idea of matching funds and founding the American Phil. Society. Franklin also served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pa. winning the attention of wealthy patrons who aided him in his career climb to the top. Franklin retired in his late 40s. He spent much of his life in London and Paris. Until the 1770's when he opposed the Stamp Act he was pro-British calling for colonial obedience to the crown. He served as the Royal assistant postmaster for the entire American colonies but was fired in 1774 following his support of the American rebellion.
Franklin was an expert on electricity who developed the lightening rod and also invented bifocal glasses and the famous Franklin stove. He was an avid swimmer enjoying long walks and sitting with friends in the "Juno society" discussing intellectual and community concerns. BF was the printer for several colonial legislative bodies and served with success in the Penn. government. Folloiwng the American Revolution he served three terms as President of Pennsylvania. Though only attending school for two years he was awarded honorary doctorates by Yale and Oxford among other institutions of higher learning. He was our first ambassador to France and the greatest diplomat in American history. Due to BF's efforts the French government gave support to the fledgling United States in commercial treaties and as an ally against England in the American Revolution.
Franklin was a genius, a wit and and the most famous, learned and traveled American citizen of the eighteenth century. Wood ranks him second only to George Washington in the pantheon of Revolutionary War heroes.
Franklin was not cute and cuddly but a pragmatist with an astute mind who understood human nature. He spoke several languages and read widely in many fields. He was a Deist who doubted the deity of Christ though he thought religion good for the moral uplift of the public. His family life was complicated. He lived with Deborah Read his common law wife who gave him a son Franky who died young and a daughter Sally. He was not close to her and lived aborad for several years while she kept house in Philadelphia. His illegitimate son William by an unknown paramour was a Loyalist who was imprisoned by the Americans. He had been the Royal Governor of New Jersey. BF and William had their love aborted over their political disagreements. BF was close to Temple Franklin the son of William.
Franklin was ambitious and could be vain. He was not happy with the way he was treated by Congress following the Revolution claiming he needed reimbursement for his time on diplomatic work abroad in France. He did not like puritanical John Adams. Some in America thought he was too pro-British but he was an arch patriot of the new American republic. Franklin was a Renaissance man and a great American statesman, inventor, publisher and printer.
Gordon Wood's short book was named a Notable Book in 2004 by the New York Review of Books. It is the best book I have read on Franklin and deserves to be on your bookshelf. A great book about a great American! Bravo Ben!

5-0 out of 5 stars And excellent read for the casual history buff
When I began reading this biography, I had only the most superficial knowledge regarding Benjamin Franklin. All I knew of the man was largely based on factoids remembered from high school history. I'm no American History scholar, although I have a strong interest in Colonial America. So when it came time to pick up a book about Franklin, I must have been exceedingly lucky to have grabbed Gordon S. Wood's tome.

I had no idea about Franklin having been initially pro-British before he became our most famous patriot. And while I was aware of the axioms associated with his "Poor Richard's Almanac," learning more about his background by reading Wood's work gave that part of Franklin's character much greater meaning for me. And I was also amazed at Franklin's darker side, particularly how he treated his wife with a coldness and callousness that caused me to feel great ambivalence about this man. Knowing all this, would I ever want to associate with someone like Franklin? The fact that this biography caused such an emotional stir within me is to me a mark of greatness.

This is, indeed, an exceptional and accessible biography.
... Read more

13. Benjamin Franklin's the Art of Virtue: His Formula for Successful Living
by Benjamin Franklin
Paperback: 312 Pages (1996-06-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$9.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0938399101
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Benjamin Franklin's The Art of Virtue consists of a collection of Franklin's writings organized around his timeless philosophy on such topics as: goal setting and personal achievement, obtaining wealth and preserving health, human relations and family living, religion and morality, aging and dying, and much, much more.

Full of profound insights, delightful humor, quotable quotes, and plenty of common sense; The Art of Virtue provides wonderful reading for both young and old alike. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally Insightful Piece from One of History's Great Thinkers
The Art of Virtue covers Franklin's twelve principles for living a virtuous, happy and productive life. Franklin never complied these into a book himself, thus George Rogers pieced this together from several of Franklin's written pieces, segments from his Almanacs, and other various sources including letters to friends.Rogers' commentary is complete with analysis and summations that result in an exceptionally well flowing masterpiece.

Franklin observed that people tend to let their values be dictated by the tide of popular option; an ominous notion given that the choices we make that govern our lives are generally in the context of our value system.Franklin asserts choosing values is among the most important choices we make as human beings; thus the greatest of all ambitions is to develop strong character.All his guidance is based on the principle that the one thing all humans have in common in a desire to be happy, and therefore being of strong character and living a virtuous life is the most logical path to true happiness.

Franklin's ideals are strong on morals, yet are also powerfully pragmatic.He does not suggest merely living an altruistic life, but to live by a set of guiding principles that lead to productivity built upon strong character.Said best by Franklin, "To be happy it is necessary to learn how to govern one's passions and appetites, to be just in one's dealings with others, to be temperate in one's pleasures, to support oneself with fortitude in difficulties, and to be prudent in one's affairs."

An added benefit, George Rogers offers such a fine overview of Franklin's thoughts that Rogers nearly maintains the grandeur of Franklin himself.If more work was available from Rogers I would jump at the chance to find a copy.This book is an outstanding success and one I readily recommend to those who value practical philosophy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Hack version of the real book
This book was misleading.It has to do with business mindedness and not necessarily the intent of Ben's writing's.THIS IS NOT THE ORIGINAL WRITINGS OF BEN FRANKLIN.It is, however, a brief and short, chopped up version of what he really wrote.If your into the "early to bed, early to rise, make you healthy, wealthy, and wise" business concept, then this book maybe for you.If you are interested in a non-interpreted view of his writings, then look elsewhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
Purchase went smoothly.Condition was a stated and appreciate the honesty and simply of this order.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love Ben Franklin
Great book on Benjamin Franklin's life. This book will make you a better person. Read it and digest it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless work
When you look at the cover and the preface, the book may appear to be written by Benjamin Franklin, but that is somewhat misleading. Sure, the essence of the book comes from the writings of B.F., but the editor of the book has also done a great job of putting a collection of writings by Franklin into an excellent structure.

Twelve virtues are identified answering key questions about the source of happiness, how to attain it, and many other important aspects of life. Each virtue is supported by B.F.'s writings. I especially liked the summaries at the end of each chapter that would emphasize the essential points of the corresponding virtue.

This is a very accessible book, and a great companion for anyone who thinks life should be more than pursuing selfish goals and satisfying petty pleasures.

Perhaps, this work is more useful in understanding B.F.'s wisdom than his autobiography, which is another great classic.

I was slightly confused as to why the book was presented to be merely a book by B.F., given that the editor has contributed quite a bit in terms of organization and explanations. Perhaps to improve the sales?

In any event, this is a great work that, I bet, will improve the perspective of anyone who reads it actively. ... Read more

14. Benjamin Franklin
by Ingri D'Aulaire
Paperback: 48 Pages (1998-11-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$17.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0964380390
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
An intuitive understanding of the things children love to know, combined with the d'Aulaire's extraordinary artistic ability make this book on the life of one of America's most beloved founders a perennial classic. Folk art style illustrations are enhanced with pert aphorisms from Poor Richard's Almanac on each page. Readers will learn that Benjamin was the youngest of seventeen children "all counted" and that "it was a piece of luck that his kite experiment had not killed him." They will also come to know the inventor whose thirst for knowledge led him to constantly seek to improve the lives of his fellow men. Readers will follow his life as a leader in the American Revolution and ambassador to both Britain and France and learn why the French hailed him as the man who "tore the lightening from the sky and the scepter from tyrants." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Biography
This book was a wonderful biography!It was about Benjamin Franklin, from when he was just a boy to an old man, and how he became famous even in France!I am eight years old and I loved it!The reason I liked it so much is that it told me about his(very)interesting life.The only problem I had with the book is that it didn't show me much of his inventions.Other than that it was a GREAT book!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
My kids- 5 and 10 years old, absolutely loved this book! We checked it out from the library to learn more about Benjamin Franklin for school, but the kids, especially the 5 year old, wouldn't let me stop reading to them. We ended up buying our own copy so we could read it anytime we want. My kids definitely see Ben Franklin as a person now, instead of some far off historical figure.

5-0 out of 5 stars history can be painless
I've been through this book with two of my children now, and I love the D'Aulaire biographies.What a wonderful way to learn about important people in history!The kids love them too--and everyone has liked Benjamin Franklin in particular.He was such a brilliant man--a true Renaissance man!This book has been a fun and educational part of our homeschool.The kids also like the wise sayings from Poor Richard's Almanac that grace every page.They're inevitably surprised that they know some of them, and now they know the source.It's a good way to teach them how pervasive Franklin's influence continues to be.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great HistoricalBook
I think this biography on Benjaman Franklin was very informative,interesting,and more exciting than the usual historical book. It was easy to read and had some of his famous quotes written on the bottom of the pages. I would recomend this book for kids who are interested in learning more about Ben Franklin or who need more information about him for a school project.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book to treasure!
I am surprised to see that I'm doing the first review on this book!I checked this book out from the library to read to my children, and it is one of the most memorable biographies we have read together.This beautiful book is the story of Benjamin Franklin's interesting andinspiring life, with many full page illustrations.It includes many of hissayings throughout the book.I can't wait to own it! ... Read more

15. The Printer Boy. - Or How Benjamin Franklin Made His Mark. An Example for Youth.
by William M. (William Makepeace) Thayer
Paperback: 146 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B003YMMFRW
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The Printer Boy. - Or How Benjamin Franklin Made His Mark. An Example for Youth. is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by William M. (William Makepeace) Thayer is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of William M. (William Makepeace) Thayer then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

16. The Many Lives of Benjamin Franklin
by Aliki
 Hardcover: 32 Pages (1988-05-15)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$15.95
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Asin: 0671661191
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A simple biography of Benjamin Franklin emphasizing his contributions to American literature, politics, and science. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Review of Aliki's "The Many Lives of Benjamin Franklin"
How to sum up Benjamin Franklin: he was a statesman, author, printer, diplomat, inventor and probably much else (like humorist and librarian).

And Aliki (Brandenburg) does a pretty good job of getting all of these things across to children which is why the previous reviewer and I have given this book 5 stars.

The artwork is colorful and frequently in a cartoon-magazine sort of style. Besides the text there are pictures in which various characters have 'balloon' dialog with each other.

Amazon doesn't give an age range, but I know that 5 is too young. While we greatly enjoyed Aliki's "Johnny Appleseed", this book was on a more sophisticated level. It is not so much that the text is complicated, but rather that so many of Franklin's activities don't make sense to a really small child.

For example, electricity and diplomacy went right over my children's' heads. An example of text follows so that you can gage the reading level for yourself:

"He had lots of his own ideas. Even at play, Ben was thinking.
He liked to swim, and often tried different ways. Once he made paddles so he could go faster.

Another time he was kite flying near a pond and had a brighter idea. He went for a swim holding onto the kite string. Just as he had hoped, the kite pulled him across the pond."

Five Stars. Colorful, cartoon-like drawings that most children should respond to. And though it is a good, beginning introduction to Benjamin Franklin's fantastic career, it might be over the heads of many young children. Then again, you could just buy it and wait.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Many Lives of Benjamin Franklin
This was a simple overview of Benjamin Franklin's life and his contributions to the United States.When Ben was born in Boston, his parents knew he was special because he was curious, had a sense of humor, and read a lot.He always tried different ways of doing things such as making paddles to swim faster and holding onto a kite while he swam so it could pull him.Ben was sent to live with his brother, James.James was a printer, so Ben wanted to learn to print also.Ben wrote letters for the newspaper without his brother's permission.When James discovered Ben's dishonesty, Ben decided to move to Philadelphia.Benjamin worked hard at printing until finally he bought his own shop.Benjamin married and had two children.His contributions to Philadelphia are tremendous, such as starting a reading club called Junto, starting the first free library, fire department, hospital and school, and even proved that lightning was electricity.Before Benjamin Franklin died at age 84, he helped free America through signing the Declaration of Independence and writing the Constitution of the United States. ... Read more

17. Benjamin Franklin: Young Printer (Childhood of Famous Americans)
by Augusta Stevenson
Paperback: 192 Pages (1986-10-31)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.47
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Asin: 0020419201
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A biography of the young Philadelphia printer who grew up to become a world-renowned author, diplomat, scientist, and inventor, and one of the founding fathers of the United States. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good History; Good Biography
Books by Augusta Stevenson can always be counted on to deliver a good story and to respect a child's intelligence - and to teach.The book opens: "A long time ago, away up in New England in the little city of Boston there was a certain blue ball.It was about the size of a cocoanut, and it hung above the front door of a certain little house.On this blue ball was a name - Josiah Franklin.That was all, but it was enough.Everyone in Boston knew that the blue ball was the sign Josiah Franklin used for his candle-and-soap shop in Union Street.They knew that he lived in this little house, too, as most tradesmen did in those days.They knew that the shop was in the front room facing the street, and that the Franklin family lived in the big room just back of it."The Childhood of Family Americans series, almost 100 years old now, chronicles the early years of famous American men and women in an accessible manner.Each book is faithful in spirit to the values and experiences that influenced the person's development.These books reaffirm the importance of our American heritage.

5-0 out of 5 stars Smart Ben
I thought that it was a good book because I like biographies. I especially liked the part when he went to the Latin School and he couldn't say the poem because the school master gave Ben the wrong poem. I recommend this book to you if you like to read biographies. I also recommend this book if you think that a president's life would be interesting.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you are the type of person who loves to read about famo..
us historians of our past...I highly recommend this biography of a young printer, Benjamin Franklin.Stevenson talks about the bigger of Ben's life, however going into smallest details in ocations(In my opinion: Like all biographers should.)This is a small price for a large book and may be ordered from Amazon.com! ... Read more

18. Benjamin Franklin's adventures with electricity (Science stories)
by Beverley Birch
 Paperback: Pages (2001)
-- used & new: US$8.48
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Asin: 0760726604
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This text, part of the "Science Stories" series, shows how Benjamin Franklin's courageous experiments with lightning opened the way for the modern world to harness the power of electrical energy. This book can be used as support material for Key Stages 1 and 2 in National Curriculum Science. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Get Shocked by Science
This short and easy-to-read book (especially appropriate for 2nd thru 5th grade) provides a meaty and interesting story of Ben Franklin's experiments with electricity. Without getting too technical, the story explains things that Franklin discovered about which materials conduct electricity and which don't, the connections he made between static electricity and lightning and details of his famous experiment with a kite in a thunderstorm. Very interesting and nicely illustrated with full-color pictures throughout. ... Read more

19. Benjamin Franklin
by Professor Edmund S. Morgan
Hardcover: 368 Pages (2002-10)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$4.89
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Asin: 0300095325
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Benjamin Franklin is perhaps the most remarkable figure in American history: the greatest statesman of his age, he played a pivotal role in the formation of the American republic. He was also a pioneering scientist, a bestselling author, the country's first postmaster general, a printer, a bon vivant, a diplomat, a ladies' man, and a moralist-and the most prominent celebrity of the eighteenth century.Franklin was, however, a man of vast contradictions, as Edmund Morgan demonstrates in this brilliant biography. A reluctant revolutionary, Franklin had desperately wished to preserve the British Empire, and he mourned the break even as he led the fight for American independence. Despite his passion for science, Franklin viewed his groundbreaking experiments as secondary to his civic duties. And although he helped to draft both the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution, he had personally hoped that the new American government would take a different shape. Unraveling the enigma of Franklin's character, Morgan shows that he was the rare individual who consistently placed the public interest before his own desires.

Written by one of our greatest historians, Benjamin Franklin offers a provocative portrait of America's most extraordinary patriot. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (39)

1-0 out of 5 stars Morgan's Ben Franklin--a disappointing biography
I was sorely disappointed by Edmund Morgan's biography of Benjamin Franklin.Despite having America's most creative, funny, and interesting Founding Father, perhaps second only to George Washington in importance, Ben comes across boring and leaden in Morgan's account.I found little of Ben's humor and warmth in this book.While it covered Franklin's scientific and diplomatic efforts in great detail, it spoke little of how Ben helped make America...indeed, I found little to prove him a Founding Father.I persisted through the interminable treatment of pre-Revolutionary Franklin, hoping for a solid treatment of the Revolutionary War and the Constitutional Convention, only to be completely disappointed.In sum, I feel that I know only marginally more about Ben after reading this book; I hope Issacson's account illuminates Ben better.

4-0 out of 5 stars This biography set a precedent for the new millennia
I am interested in comparing the 5 best biographies of Benjamin Franklin that have been written (thus far) in the new millennia, emphasizing Morgan's account.

THE BEST 5 BIOGRAPHIES ARE (in order of publication date)
Edmund S. Morgan's Benjamin Franklin (Yale Nota Bene S.)
H. W. Brands's The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin
Walter Isaacson's Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Gordon S. Wood's The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin
Jerry Weinberger's Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought (American Political Thought)

The first 4 of these biographies are presented as in the typical historically (and chronologically) biographical approach.Morgan's biography was the first written and all the later biographers mention his work and try to build (and critique) Morgan's interpretation of Franklin.

There are 24 pictures in Morgan's book, no pictures in Brands's book, 32 pictures in Isaacson's book, 25 pictures in Wood's book, and no pictures in Weinberger's book.
I am not going to write about how great Franklin was or what he did (he was great and he did so much).I want to write primarily about how each of these authors portrays Franklin's character differently by highlighting different aspects of his life.

In London (1725) Franklin wrote "A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain," which seemed to show that Franklin was a young radical Deist.Later, when the pamphlet was reprinted in Boston, Franklin became a social outcast of sorts and he wrote that he was "inclined to leave Boston" because people were calling him "an infidel or atheist."When Franklin fled Boston he was 17 years old. He later wrote about that pamphlet that Ï began to suspect that this doctrine, though it might be true, was not very useful."
Later, after becoming rich from his printing presses, writings, and scientific discoveries, Franklin became a statesman, diplomat, Founding Father, and icon.
At the end of his life he wrote his "Autobiography," where Franklin said that he "never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity, that he made the world, and governed it by his Providence; that the most acceptable service to God was the doing of good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished and virtue rewarded either here or hereafter; these I esteemed the essentials of every religion".

Morgan affirms what is in Franklin's "Autobiography" by writing, "Franklin seems never to have doubted...etc" (pg. 16).All the other biographers affirm Morgan's interpretation except Weinberger.Weinberger thinks that Franklin is purposely contradicting himself to play with his readers...to reveal a Franklin that would have possibly be called again an "infidel or atheist" if he had not cloaked his message.Morgan, however, highlights the phrase in the "Autobiography" where Franklin says "that the most acceptable service to God was the doing of good to man."After describing the 13 virtues listed Franklin's "Autobiography" Morgan notes, "What is totally missing from the list is charity, love of one's fellow man.And charity, it will become evident, was actually the guiding principle of Franklin's life" (pg. 24).Morgan says that charity brought Franklin to be a public servant; Brands agrees but says that Franklin was a skeptic and a pragmatist; Isaacson focuses on the Franklin who, it's argued, helped found American pragmatism, Wood focuses on the political Franklin who had to be "Americanized" because Franklin too often wanted to be part of the old gentry class and this was evident in some of his politicking, Weinberger calls Franklin a "radical skeptic" and says he was a political "Baconian."

Morgan's work on Franklin is most like Brands's biography.Brands's work is much longer and often recounts extraneous things in accomplishing the most contextually based Franklin written so far.

5-0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Franklin, Diplomat
"Benjamin Franklin" by Edmund S. Morgan is a spell binding study of Franklin's career in the diplomatic service.There are sections about his youth, scientific experiments, his flirtations with women, service in the Constitutional Convention, as well as other staples of the Franklin Legend, but these are "filler" to complete the story of this most interesting character.

The focus of this book is on Franklin the diplomat.It is about Franklin, the longtime colonial agent in England and Franklin the representative of the Continental Congress who worked the Court of Versailles for the loans which kept America afloat and who later negotiated the treaty that brought peace and recognition to the new Republic.

I like books that change my way of viewing things, which this book certainly does.I think that we all tend to view Franklin as an American icon, which he truly was.Morgan reminds us that, for most of his life, Franklin was an Englishman and an enthusiastic supporter of the British Empire.This book points out that, for much of his diplomatic career, Franklin's goal was the furtherance of the British Empire in which, he believed, the weight of power would eventually shift to America.This book presents the concept that it was Britain, in truth, which broke the bonds of Empire by its treatment of the colonies, not the colonies which sought independence of their own choosing.It was only after the British Ministry had spurned all of Franklin's advice and had, thereby, squandered the goodwill of America toward Britain, that he turned to support the Independence movement which was arising throughout the colonies.

This book raises the speculation of "What if Franklin had been successful in cementing a Trans-Atlantic Empire in which the relationships between the member states would have evolved over time, as has the relationship between Britain and Canada?"Would we have seen the development of a great Anglo-American nation consisting of Great Britain, much of the current United States and Canada, supplemented by as assortment of Western Hemisphere islands?How would that have changed our world?We will never know, but a book that even raises such questions in our minds is well worth the read.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Unique Approach
Benjamin Franklin was a notable statesman, inventor, scientist, and an enthusiastic scholar. He had a strong interest in how and why things worked and was eager to improve the state of the world. One of the most interesting aspects of his life was his scientific work, which seemed to take a backseat to his political career. Franklin made a multitude of discoveries and advancements in the field of electricity which set the groundwork for modern science.

What Edmund S. Morgan managed to do was truly unique. Morgan treated Franklin as a human being with human qualities, not just a Founding Father placed on a pedestal. He opened a window into Benjamin Franklin's character. Morgan discussed Franklin's insatiable curiosity, which undoubtedly led to his great scientific career. He noted Franklin's aversion to conflict when the scientist chose not to defend his discoveries against an opponent's claims. This biography, as opposed to a factual novel was more of a character analysis that focused on the meaning behind the facts.

This biography was most certainly not concerned with details. Instead of agonizing over the small issues, Morgan assumed the reader had some background knowledge in the life of Franklin and truly focused on the story of his life. This made the book much more enjoyable as the reader was not bogged down with minute details. Morgan's biography truly celebrated the life of Benjamin Franklin, not just the dull facts surrounding his accomplishments.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very good and accessible character sketch.
I enjoyed this book. It focuses mainly on Franklin's time abroad in England and France and gives an overview on who Franklin was and how he interacted on the world stage during the revolutionary period. I believe it's very accessible and would be a good starting place for anyone interested in Franklin's life. He's funny! ... Read more

20. Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin
by Gene Barretta
Paperback: 40 Pages (2008-12-23)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.87
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Asin: 0312535694
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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What would you do if you lived in a community without a library, hospital, post office, or fire department? If you were Benjamin Franklin, you’d set up these organizations yourself. Franklin also designed the lightning rod, suggested the idea of daylight saving time, invented bifocals and the odometer—all inspired by his common sense and intelligence.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Quality Literature!
I am a college student studying to be a teacher. I used this book to create a social studies unit. All of my classmate looked at the book loved the pictures and quality information. There is so much to learn about Benjamin Franklin from this book and it is presented in a very fun way. Since Benjamin Franklin did not patent any of his inventions the book explains what he created and how it has transformed into something we use modern day. Love this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars A History Book Made Fun and Understandable for Kids
As I home schooling family we are always on the look out for books that teach history in a fun and exciting way.Now and Ben The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin is not only well illustrated but also made it easy for children to understand how the past directly impacts modern society. The author chronicals the many inventions of Benjamin Franklin.I would highly recommend this book for kindergarten through third grade.I noticed some reviews said that it could not be purchased in paperwork but we did order it from Amazon in that format.

5-0 out of 5 stars used it for a school report
We had a school report on a famous American, and my little sweetie chose Ben Franklin.For the book report part of the project, we used the book "Ben Franklin's Big Shock," but for project ideas and illustrations, you simply can not beat this book.It's very fun and funny, and yet still instructive.

This is a very worthwhile book, and it sets those little inventor wheels spinning inside their little heads.


5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent comparison of past and present.
This book has great illustrations of the inventions of Benjamin Franklin and how they have evolved into our world today.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent book
This book is suggested reading for grades 2-5 but my 4 year old can't get enough.The drawings spark his imagination in ways that simpler books never could. He may not understand the significance of Benjamin Franklin but I am delighted that he wants to learn more about the inventions that shape our society. ... Read more

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