Thom Swennes's Reviews > Franklin: The Autobiography

Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
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's review
Mar 14, 2012

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Read in March, 2012

I started The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin with an excitement of anticipation. Everyone knows this multi-faceted man that excelled in so many things. His Poor Richard column wrote home truths that were as relevant to the average man then, in the eighteenth century, as they are now. In short I was expecting to read pure magic on every page. I must admit that this wasn’t the case. This book is a well written and comprehensive account of Franklin from his humble birth as the youngest of a vast multitude of Franklin children until just prior to the revolutionary period that would make him famous throughout the world. I now understand why so many of his best known and loved sayings had to do with money as he spent a greater part of his youth and young adulthood without it. His principals gave him an innate aversion to borrowing and debt but also lent freely and were known for helping anyone in need. Although he was brought up in a relative religious household, his naturally inquisitive nature soon left doubts in his mind about religion as a whole and seemed to obtain from the subject to avoid any conflicts. His inquisitive nature led him to experiment (as most people are aware of) but he did little to reap any accolades from these acts. I am disappointed that later achievements weren’t covered in this autobiography as the later chapters were written after these were performed. Upon completion I can only surmise that he wouldn’t deem any of the acts noteworthy enough to put to paper. This work didn’t meet my original expectations but has left me with undoubtedly more; a true picture of a great man and it has served to only increase my wonder and respect for him.

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