Trevor’s review of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin > Likes and Comments

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Kelly H. (Maybedog) So there was no reference to Franklin's wit in writing such as his piece on farts?

message 2: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Oh, no. Must try to find that.

message 3: by Trevor (new)

Kelly H. (Maybedog) Isn't it great? I used to have the book Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School but I can't remember what I did with it. I never read the whole thing but what I did was brilliant.

message 5: by Trevor (new)

Trevor I think I've decided that the only person that could write the life story of Benjamin Franklin and leave out just about everything of interest that happened in his life and still get away with it was BF himself. Fart Proudly was inspired.

Kelly H. (Maybedog) True, but I don't think he'd do it. I like to think he must have been proud of Fart Proudly and would be sure to include discussion of it in his bio. :)

message 7: by Rachel (new)

Rachel I stumbled across one of your old reviews, found myself engaged by the discussion thread & decided to see if you read anything in the past months I was familiar with...lo & behold I see Mr. Franklin. I am ever so grateful your friend Kelly reminded you about the important passage on farting, but I was surprised you didn't mention his pearls of wisdom regarding mistresses! I read this more than 15 years ago as an undergrad in American Lit, but I remember laughing over his sly innuendos & outright suggestion to his son that underneath the girdle women young & old are the same - so go with experience! Your review mentioned how some major moments of his life aren't touched upon, and I didn't know if you were aware he died before finishing it. Since I'm a librarian & censorship naturally interests me, you & Kelly might find it of note that Franklin's autobiography is oft-banned in the U.S.; I believe it still ranks as one of the top 100. Not bad for a Founding Father.

message 8: by Trevor (new)

Trevor His advice to his son must have gone by me completely unnoticed. Odd, because that is normally the sort of thing I like the most.

And I had no idea this was one of the most banned books, but then thinking back on it, I'm hardly surprised. Even though it doesn't always work, I take the banning of books as a high recommendation to read a book - I'm not sure I would have read my kids Harry Potter if people hadn't tried to ban it.

message 9: by Kelly H. (Maybedog) (last edited Nov 19, 2012 01:05AM) (new)

Kelly H. (Maybedog) I've added this to our shelves in the group Banned Books. I wonder if we could find an unedited copy. Trevor, does this have sexual references at all? They'd be pretty mild. Here is the short little essay info_priestess mentions to give you an idea of what they consider "sexual."

message 10: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Project Gutenberg have a copy of all of this - Part One is here

God, that letter is wonderful, Kelly. It is remarkably similar to Billy Connolly's eminently sensible advice - give me one old whore over 72 virgins any day.

He does make it clear that he was sleeping with women prior to being married - but I would need to read over it again to see how I knew this. His time in London the first time in particular - but from memory this was really only hinted at.

I've a feeling this book might have been banned more consistently because of his views on religion than on sex, though - his views there are anything but conventional. And his views on public service and on not accepting money for his inventions would probably get him shot as a Communist in many of states of the United States now.

It's a good thing no one reads the Bible, you know - or surely that would have been banned too. Given all of the sex, violence and that Commo Jesus running around helping poor people.

Kelly H. (Maybedog) Thanks for the link!

I'm surprised about the religion aspect, too. I've always thought the Old Testament was written by a soap opera writer who got flung back in time. ;)

Billy Connolly's wisdom is frequently spot on. I agree here. I've been with a virgin. Ugh.

message 12: by Trevor (new)

Trevor And the first time is the last time...

message 13: by Jim (new)


Trevor,this book has an interesting part on researching the history of Ben F.

message 14: by Trevor (new)

Trevor This looks amusing Jim - I've no idea when I might get to it, though.

message 15: by Jim (last edited Oct 25, 2013 10:07AM) (new)

Jim (Franklin's) views on public service and on not accepting money for his inventions would probably get him shot as a Communist in many of states of the United States now.

I think you confuse which end of the gun the Communist can see - and his motives.

message 16: by Trevor (new)

Trevor I think it is a little harsh to suggest Franklin would go around shooting people just because they think his views on public service where communistic - I think he was a bigger man than that, Jim, but perhaps you are right. It is certainly true that the 'well organised militia' are much more likely statistically to kill themselves and their children than to kill communists. If only we had time for Darwinian evolution to play out...

message 17: by Jim (last edited Oct 25, 2013 01:20PM) (new)

Jim I think you confuse which end of the gun the Communist can see - and his motives.

Well, that was poorly written. I'll try again, and refer to Communists in general - referring of course to the successful (and, thankfully, mostly historical) ones.

I think you confuse which end of the gun Communists can see - and their motives.

My experience (in Alaska mostly) with those who "carry" is that they are invariably polite and civilized. They tend to argue well - are cheerful, rhetorically skillful, and respectful of property rights. All of them would defend Franklin's prerogative to give away his intellectual property and defend yours to license your own.

I've only encountered Communists in print - well out of firing range. Most were all-too-serious about the State owning your property (the general, rhetorical "your") and not at all cheerful.

message 18: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Fortunately, I get to see gun owners from a distance that is well beyond firing range. As they say, it isn't guns that kill people, it's gun owners. You can keep them in Alaska - I'm more than happy for them to be polite to each other while defending to the death their property on the other end of the world.

back to top