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4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  145 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Note: When first issued, the Library of America edition of Franklin's Writings was collected in one large volume; later, it was published as two separate volumes.

The library of America is dedicated to publishing America's best and most significant writing in handsome, enduring volumes, featuring authoritative texts. Hailed as the "finest-looking, longest-lasting editions e
Hardcover, 1632 pages
Published September 1st 1987 by Library of America (first published 1806)
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Jim Leckband
Feb 17, 2013 Jim Leckband rated it really liked it
The overwhelming Sense of the Man that I received from reading Benjamin Franklin's letters, Poor Richard's Almanack, and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is of Confidence. (btw, it's really fun to write like you're in the 18th Century and capitalized all Nouns!) His business sense, his wit, his diplomacy, his intelligence, and his curiousity could be all be argued to come from his confidence that he can do whatever he wants and it will come out in the end. What a perfect time for Franklin ...more
Tom Lowe
Jun 09, 2016 Tom Lowe rated it it was amazing
Reading the Writings of Ben Franklin was exploring the mind of a genius. Franklin is a legend, and well he should be, as some legends in history are more famous than they deserve. Franklin deserves legendary status on so many levels, it seems unreal, such as in science, diplomacy, finances, politics, literature, and on and on. This book opened my eyes to the true genius of Franklin, and made me realize how the American people were so fortuitous in having him present at our country's birth and in ...more
Nov 30, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it
This is primary source material straight from The Ben's pen. His scientific writings and letters were surprisingly advanced. I enjoyed it the first time and will have to go back from time to time to be reminded of his brilliance.

May 14, 2014 Cormacjosh rated it it was amazing
Beginning my marathon of 3 Ben Franklin books, I start with the words of the man himself, all 1,470 pages of them. Engaging and witty, a lot of his advice applies as much to the 21st century as it did the 18th. He’s one of the Founding Fathers I admire the most.

Updating this note, which was originally written 5 years ago to day.

I have completed all 1469 pages of the Library of America edition of the Writings of Benjamin Franklin and will continue in my Franklin marathon, which since 2006 has exp
Jun 10, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it
The Almanack, the private correspondence and the newspaper writings are much more worthwhile than the Autobiography...which I didn't realize cuts off mid-sentence (he died before he got around to writing the part about the Revolution). You hear about Franklin the polymath, but it's really amazing to pick this up and see just how far the man's interests ranged.
Jun 15, 2012 Grant rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best and most enjoyable in the Library of America series on Great Statesmen, probably because Franklin was such an entertaining writer. This has his Poor Richard and even earlier journalistic writings as well as later political works.

Read the Founders, don't just proof-text or make stuff up about them (my pet peeve).
Tommy Powell
A wonderful collection that always provides 10 minutes (or more) of quick reading.
Apr 15, 2008 Patrick\ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
A shelf primer for all the other Franklin books. Thank god for the printing press, including Franklin's franchising of his name or there wouldn't be a Kinko's.
Libby Duncan-selinsky
Jun 15, 2012 Libby Duncan-selinsky rated it it was amazing
My all time favorite book ever... Hands down!
Sep 30, 2008 Alie marked it as to-read
Shelves: politics, biography
I do not know, how much time I'm gonna spend for this book.
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  • The Debate on the Constitution: Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches, Articles and Letters During the Struggle over Ratification, Part Two: January to August 1788 (Library of America)
  • Writings: Autobiography/Notes on the State of Virginia/Public & Private Papers/Addresses/Letters
  • Writings
  • Speeches and Writings, 1859-1865
  • James Madison: Writings
  • Collected Writings: Common Sense/The Crisis/Rights of Man/The Age of Reason/Pamphlets/Articles & Letters
  • Writings
  • Francis Parkman : France and England in North America : Vol. 1 of 2: Pioneers of France in the New World, The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century, La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West, The Old Regime in Canada (Library of America)
  • Dostoevsky: The Mantle of the Prophet, 1871-1881
  • Prose and Poetry
  • The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It
  • History of the United States of America During the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson
  • Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism 1959-1975
  • Writings, 1878-1899
  • A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic
  • The Promise of American Life
  • The Road to Disunion: Volume I: Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854
  • The Winter Soldiers: The Battles for Trenton and Princeton
Benjamin Franklin was a writer, a philosopher, a scientist, a politician, a patriot, a Founding Father, an inventor, and publisher. He helped with the founding of the United States of America and changed the world with his discoveries about electricity. His writings such as Poor Richards' Almanac have provided wisdom for 17 years to the colonies.
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“Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils. The unhappy man who has been treated as a brute animal, too frequently sinks beneath the common standard of the human species. The galling chains, that bind his body, do also fetter his intellectual faculties, and impair the social affections of his heart… To instruct, to advise, to qualify those, who have been restored to freedom, for the exercise and enjoyment of civil liberty… and to procure for their children an education calculated for their future situation in life; these are the great outlines of the annexed plan, which we have adopted.

[For the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, 1789]”
“Some guns were fired to give notice that the departure of the balloon was near. ... Means were used, I am told, to prevent the great balloon's rising so high as might endanger its bursting. Several bags of sand were taken on board before the cord that held it down was cut, and the whole weight being then too much to be lifted, such a quantity was discharged as would permit its rising slowly. Thus it would sooner arrive at that region where it would be in equilibrio with the surrounding air, and by discharging more sand afterwards, it might go higher if desired. Between one and two o'clock, all eyes were gratified with seeing it rise majestically from above the trees, and ascend gradually above the buildings, a most beautiful spectacle. When it was about two hundred feet high, the brave adventurers held out and waved a little white pennant, on both sides of their car, to salute the spectators, who returned loud claps of applause. The wind was very little, so that the object though moving to the northward, continued long in view; and it was a great while before the admiring people began to disperse. The persons embarked were Mr. Charles, professor of experimental philosophy, and a zealous promoter of that science; and one of the Messrs Robert, the very ingenious constructors of the machine.

{While U.S. ambassador to France, writing about witnessing, from his carriage outside the garden of Tuileries, Paris, the first manned balloon ascent using hydrogen gas by Jacques Charles on the afternoon of 1 Dec 1783. A few days earlier, he had watched the first manned ascent in Montgolfier's hot-air balloon, on 21 Nov 1783.}”
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