Tina's Reviews > The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
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Mar 22, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: bookclub

This was hard to read. Like, book club books usually take me about a week and this one took twice that, hard. I kept wanting him to write about the things he s famous for today. You know the things I mean, bifocals, the American Revolution, the kite and the key, etc. While he briefly wrote about his scientific experiments and mentioned in passing the kite and the key thing, he died before he got to writing about the American Revolution. On top of that, he didn’t write about how he thought of doing his most famous experiments, or what made him think of inventing anything. Instead he talks a lot about virtue, what virtues he deemed important, how to achieve them, how he attempted to become perfectly virtuous, etc.
In book club I joked that you know no one liked the book when we talk more about the footnotes and/or the cover, than the book itself. It certainly seemed no one liked the book except me. As for me, I enjoyed the autobiography. I enjoyed reading about what Franklin thought was important about his life, especially in contrast to the things we think are important today. Also, I found it interesting to read what he wrote about Britain before the Revolution and what he wrote after, particularly what he wrote about the French and Indian War during which time we were still friendly with the British, but that he wrote after the Revolution when we were not. My biggest complaint is that he writes as if he was paid by the capital letter. The most random things were capitalized, as in just about every third word. If that’s my biggest complaint, I can walk away happy. In this case I also walk away edified
Did Franklin really possess every virtue he claimed? Probably not. Was he a bit of a hypocrite? Probably, you read that in biographies of most other founding fathers. But did he still do great things? Yes. Can I learn something about life and people, something I can apply to my own life, from reading this book? Most definitely. Am I therefore happy I read it? Beyond a doubt. Am I glad I bought the book? I’m even glad I bought the more expensive copy complete with footnotes, biographical notes on other historical figures, etc.
This review is taken from my blog bibliophilebet.blogspot.com
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