King Ævil's Reviews > Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School

Fart Proudly by Benjamin Franklin
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Aug 18, 2008

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bookshelves: humor, 2008, american-history
Read in September, 2008

Collected here is a sampling of Benjamin Franklin's bawdy, satirical and subversive essays. Though the title emphasizes the first of these categories, the best work represented here is in Franklin's delightful, scathing criticism of the Crown's mismanagement of the American colonies—particularly in the "Edict of the King of Prussia," which elicited outrage from many Londoners who took the proclamation as genuine.

My delight with Franklin's scandalous side was soured, however, by the editor's epilogue, told in the form of a dream. Amidst reasonable criticism of censorship in the name of "public correctness," Carl Japikse tosses in a whiny, unfounded rant against the separation of church and state, putting these outrageous words into Franklin's mouth:

[Editor:] "A nation which cannot pray together will soon have no ethics or moral standards. It will become a nation of opportunists, drunks and drug users."

[Franklin:] "I will grant you that."

Hear that propellerlike sound in Christ Church Burial Ground, Philadelphia? That's old Ben Franklin doing a hundred and twenty American revolutions per minute. A deist, Franklin undoubtedly understood the principles of religious freedom and tolerance better than Japikse seems to. So ironic is this parting jab that I wonder whether it is the editor's own play at satire.
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11/22/2016 marked as: read

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message 1: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Jones I've not read this, but love Benjamin Franklin. I read the newest Einstein book this summer and it was an intellectual hoot. You might want to give it a try...

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