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Writings: The Autobiography / Poor Richard’s Almanack / Bagatelles, Pamphlets, Essays & Letters

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  14 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 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
Jun 09, 2016 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
May 14, 2014 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 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. ...more
Jun 15, 2012 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).
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting. Franklin touts wisdom and wealth resulting from the discipline of good habitude and scheduled spontaneity. Why were there 13 virtues listed and why were they in the order listed? One can only imagine.
Nov 30, 2015 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.

Aug 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tommy Powell
A wonderful collection that always provides 10 minutes (or more) of quick reading.
Apr 15, 2008 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. ...more
Libby Duncan-selinsky
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My all time favorite book ever... Hands down!
Sep 30, 2008 marked it as to-read
Shelves: politics, biography
I do not know, how much time I'm gonna spend for this book. ...more
Martin Bihl
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Boston & London - 1722-1726: finished 1/19/20
Don Incognito
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
These comments are regarding only Poor Richard's Almanack, whose contents I felt curious about and decided to read. Basically, I wondered what was in it and, over some years, it floated to the top of my readlist.

My dad suggested the Almanack is probably of historical interest only. I am still reading it; but I am now inclined to agree with him. Franklin's (writing under pseudonym "Richard Saunders") aphorisms are generally not particularly interesting or insightful; for many, if I react at all I
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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. ...more

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