Darwin8u's Reviews > The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2015

“...there will be sleeping enough in the grave....”
- Benjamin Franklin

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Even in death, I can't imagine Franklin resting. There is always just too much to do, too many questions to ask, too many books to read, too much to explore.

My brother recommended this book to me about 30 years ago. I'm not sure why I never read it until now. Part of it must be the feeling that Benjamin Franklin would always just be there. He wasn't going anywhere. He seems to permeate so much of what it means to be an American and is an essential part our shared historical map. His autobiography, which is divided into two parts, ends in 1757. So all of the Revolutionary War Franklin and Continental Congress Franklin is obviously missing. These are his early years. It is a portrait of a polymath as a young man. It shows his curiosity, his work ethic, his creativity, his risk-taking, his bridge-building. All the things that would later be used as part of the myth-making around Franklin.

After reading this autobiography, I kinda agree with Christopher Hitchen's take about the role of Benjamin Franklin as the Socrates of his day:

"Franklin was also the main man. He was drafted onto the committee that drew up the Declaration (and may well have been the one who imposed the ringing term "self-evident," as against the more pompous "sacred and undeniable" in its crucial opening stave.) When George Washington's horse bore him into Philadelphia for the grueling meeting that would eventually evolve the United States Constitution, it was at Franklin's front door that the president necessarily made his first stop.... -

The thing about reading Franklin is you are never quite sure when he is pulling one over on the reader. His humor was dry and sharp. He could adapt the language of his foes and flail them with it. He was happy to guide and get things done, rather than glory and stay stationary. He was an American original and we are all better for his curiosity, his humor, his readiness to take risks, his ability to learn and adapt. When people talk about standing on the backs of giants, I imagine we all have climbed a bit on the back of Franklin.
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Reading Progress

July 25, 2015 – Started Reading
July 25, 2015 – Shelved
July 25, 2015 –
page 120
75.0%
July 25, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015
July 25, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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message 1: by Rod (new) - added it

Rod My dad always said that the three books a boy should read are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. I never did get to Ben, I guess I should make a point to read it just to honor the old man.


Darwin8u Rod wrote: "My dad always said that the three books a boy should read are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. I never did get to Ben, I guess I should mak..."

There are far worse reasons to read a book.


message 3: by Trish (new)

Trish I loved this book.


message 4: by John (last edited Mar 08, 2017 03:56PM) (new) - added it

John G Get it right. "there will be sleeping enough in the grave" is not in the autobiography but from Poor Richard's Almanack... Up, sluggard, and waste not life ; in
the grave will be sleeping enough.


message 5: by Darwin8u (last edited Mar 08, 2017 03:22PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Darwin8u John wrote: "Get it right. "there will be sleeping enough in the grave" is not in the autobiography but from Poor Richard's Alamanack... Up, sluggard, and waste not life ; in
the grave will be sleeping enough."


Sure. Thanks. Fixed. And whilest we play pedant tennis... it is spelled Almanack (or often modernized to Almanac) not Alamanack. Although, I like the spelling Alamanack. It sounds like some Old Testament philomath prophet in the wilderness warning of getting up early and speaking ill of the Mare.


message 6: by John (new) - added it

John G Only you did not correct it. And thanks for pointing out that extra a since I obviously don't know the correct spelling after looking up the full quote. https://archive.org/stream/poorrichar...


message 7: by Darwin8u (last edited Mar 08, 2017 10:03PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Darwin8u John wrote: "Only you did not correct it. And thanks for pointing out that extra a since I obviously don't know the correct spelling after looking up the full quote. https://archive.org/stream/poorrichar......"

Meh, you bore me. Yes, you have now changed Alamanack to Almanack*. Good job. If that is where you want to hang your hat, hold your sword, prove your mettle, have at it. I'm just not that invested in the quote or you to care. Ciao.

* One of the benefits of quoting the person you are having a conversation with is the ability to retain what they said (and how they said it). All someone who cares (and I can't imagine anyone would) needs to do is see how you spelled it before and they can see you corrected it.

I'm not sure if you are a Troll or not, but I am unsure why you are Trolling this. You have no books except for Autobiography on your profile. Are you the secret defender of Ben Franklin? The keeper of his flame? His knight errant, chasing down misquotes and misattributions? Do you stay up late - oiling & caressing the spines of his thick, erotick almanacks (sic)? Fine. Just understand you need to be able to withstand, with dignity, the same criticisms you toss out.


message 8: by John (new) - added it

John G Darwin8u wrote: "John wrote: "Only you did not correct it. And thanks for pointing out that extra a since I obviously don't know the correct spelling after looking up the full quote. https://archive.org/stream/poor..." If you can't handle your sloppy, lazy errors being pointed out then that is your problem and not mine. Starting your review with a quote that not only isn't in the book but cut and pasted from some bs quote site shows how closely you read it and how completely worthless your opinions about it are.


message 9: by Darwin8u (last edited Mar 08, 2017 07:39PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Darwin8u John wrote: "Darwin8u wrote: "John wrote: "Only you did not correct it. And thanks for pointing out that extra a since I obviously don't know the correct spelling after looking up the full quote. https://archiv..."

So much anger. Did I sleep with your mother? Kill your cat? Sleep with your cat? Kill your mother?

Absolutely, I'm sloppy and lazy* (just ask everybody). I totally can handle that. You seem the one with some weird fetish for this quote OR my opinion. But keep at it. Perhaps tomorrow I'll care.

* I read Ben Franklin, I just don't follow all his advice.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

How dare you, Darwin8u....the travesty *sigh* of attributing a quote not from the book. I am not sure I can continue to be an ardent fan and follow you anymore for this unspeakable act. teeheehee :)


Darwin8u T. wrote: "How dare you, Darwin8u....the travesty *sigh* of attributing a quote not from the book. I am not sure I can continue to be an ardent fan and follow you anymore for this unspeakable act. teeheehee :)"

T, tee, teeheehee,
Since I essentially write to please just you, you should probably demand more or ask for a refund.


Philip brinson Good


Philip brinson What do you mean Darwin8u
What do you mean Darwin8u


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