Jessica's Reviews > The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Mar 17, 2011
Benjamin Franklin invented the American Fire Department, wood stoves, and the American system of government. You would think, then, that he'd invent some way of writing an autobiography that wasn't boring as hell. But no. Franklin loves his books, and he also loves self-improvement (the best parts of this are his bizarre charts where he rates himself on a 13-point scale of morality). But despite all of his attention to rhetoric this book does not, in my opinion, rise to the occasion of chronicling what by all accounts is a remarkable life. At one point he remarks that books with scenes and dialogue are more pleasurable to read - it's strange that someone so bent on self-improvement did not then think to incorporate such literary devices into his own writing. Like many male autobiographers (from St. Augustine to modern day politicians), early education, mundane philosophies on life in general, and braggadocio about professional accomplishments are given much space, while almost no time is devoted to the truly personal. Love affairs, marriage, children, death of loved ones, dramatic changes in personal beliefs - these are given little or no consideration. Autobiographies like these always leave me wishing the wife had written her side of the story.
Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.Sign In »
March 17, 2011 – Shelved
March 17, 2011 – Finished Reading