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21. Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin
22. The Papers of Benjamin Franklin,
23. The Autobiography of Benjamin
24. Benjamin Franklin: In Search of
25. Benjamin Franklin: Electrified
26. A Benjamin Franklin Reader
27. Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On
28. Benjamin Franklin and the Politics
29. The Compleated Autobiography by
30. Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia
31. Benjamin Franklin (DK Biography)
32. Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography
33. Uncommon Cents: Benjamin Franklin
34. Meet Benjamin Franklin
35. The Autobiography of Benjamin
36. Back in Time with Benjamin Franklin:
37. Ben Franklin's Almanac: Being
38. Benjamin Franklin: A Life Well
39. Benjamin Franklin's the Way to
40. The Way to Wealth

21. Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School
by Benjamin Franklin
Paperback: 128 Pages (2003-05)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
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Asin: 1583940790
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A mention of flatulence might conjure images of bratty high school boys or lowbrow comics. But one of the most eloquent - and least expected - commentators on the subject is Benjamin Franklin. The writings in Fart Proudly reveal the rogue who lived peaceably within the philosopher and statesman. Included are "The Letter to a Royal Academy"; "On Choosing a Mistress"; "Rules on Making Oneself Disagreeable"; and other jibes. Franklin's irrepressible wit found an outlet in perpetrating hoaxes, attacking marriage and other sacred cows, and skewering the English Parliament. Reminding us of the humorous, irreverent side of this American icon, these essays endure as both hilarious satire and a timely reminder of the importance of a free press. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars "What a gas!"
In school we learn so many incredibly boring things about Benjamin "Bifocals" Franklin who invented the potbellied stove and discovered electricity. I had a really wonderful 7th Grade Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Harte, who told us that Franklin, an incurable roue, was the putative father of the Royal Governor of Delaware, and that when one of the Delaware delegates to the Continental Congress advised Franklin that he'd recently seen his son, Franklin answered, "Is that so? How is the little b*****d?"

Thanks Mrs. Harte, wherever you are. A man like Franklin not only deserves to be on the $100 bill, but he deserves to be taken very seriously. FART PROUDLY is a collection of his more ribald writings. This book was long banned in the USA, which only goes to show how important it is as American political discourse. (Beware of the final essay, which is the editor's work, not Franklin's.)

Never mind "Family Values," "Mavericks," "Hockey Moms," and "Tea Baggers." If you want to contribute meaningfully to the American body politic, then, by God, FART PROUDLY!

5-0 out of 5 stars Put a smile in your day
This book is the ideal book to remind us of our American roots and what the founding fathers thoughts and philosophies were at the start of this nation. It is a wonderful way to have encouragement and a good solid sense of humor during the day for anyone. I leave it for guests to read and know it will always bring a great conversation about. I strongly recommend this for anyone. It is not a read once and toss, it is the type of book you keep for years and re-read parts of occasionally, always with renewed pleasure. It definitely makes a good gift.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fart Proudly
Good, concise writing from a Founding Father.A good insight, not generally taught in history books, of the wit and wisdom of Dr Franklin.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting read... definitely not what you read in school
My husband has a wacky sense of humor and asked me to order this book.Wackier yet is that I've read it and he has not.

I enjoyed most of the essays inside.One essay in particular sticks to the forefront of my mind and that was on choosing a mistress. Not exactly something you'd expect the revered Almanac writing Ben Franklin to write about!Still, it was tongue in cheek.

Much of what is inside pertains to personal finance.Old Ben was not a fan of borrowing money, that is for sure.But still, his practical advice is timeless.

I agree with what another writer wrote about the final chapter.The author does take some literary license with how he thought Ben would feel about the state of the country these days.It was a little over the top and perhaps a bit out of place. While I did appreciate his framing of essays with a little bit of background info (particularly as it related to what Ben wrote about another almanac writer), the last chapter was out of place.In reading the book, the reader likely came to the realization that Ben would not be amused with how our country turned out.We didn't need that last chapter to drive the point home.Otherwise, I enjoyed reading the lesser known works of Ben Franklin, though I freely admit I had trouble following him at times.Our colonial forefathers did have a different way of phrasing things and annoying habit of capitalizing words that are not capitalized as a matter of course in modern works.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stuff they don't teach in history...
This book is just what the title says.Not ALL of the writings are as rare as you think but I would say most of it is unknown on a High School level.By college a lot of this should be known by anybody who knows American History or is a fan of Benjamin Franklin.There is humor but also a message in each piece, showing Mr. Franklin's views on the subject of the press, government and how to live life. Now, why did I take away a star?Because the last chapter is not by Mr. Franklin.The last chapter is Carl Japikse using the ghost of Mr. Franklin as a mouth piece.While I agree with much of what he raves against, mostly about his view on the modern mass media, this space could have been used to hold something by Mr. Franklin.That is who the book is about, after all. ... Read more

22. The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 28: Volume 28: November 1, 1778, through February 28, 1779 (The Papers of Benjamin Franklin Series)
by Benjamin Franklin
Hardcover: 984 Pages (1990-12-26)
list price: US$105.00 -- used & new: US$104.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300046731
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The last two weeks covered by this volume represent a new chapter in Franklin's career: Minister Plenipotentiary to the French Court. For the first 14 weeks, however, the work of the American commissioners, Franklin, John Adams, and Arthur Lee, goes on as usual, although in an atmosphere of uncertainty and distrust as news of the abolishment of the commission reaches Paris in late November. In addition to the bickering within the commission, Ralph Izard, commissioner designate to Tuscany, continues to irritate Franklin who, in response, writes one of his most brilliant and witty invectives, "The Petition of the Letter Z." Much of the diplomatic story of this volume concerns the implementation of the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. While those documents demonstrate France's support for the American cause, putting them into practice is still to be achieved. American merchants seek French convoy protection for trade to North America, trade that is essential to paying for the war. And owners of privateers seek a resolution of the legal dilemma in which they are caught because of recent French admiralty regulations governing retaken prizes.But Franklin's role as American minister does not confine him to the world of accounts and routine correspondence. On the contrary, in this volume we see clearly Franklin the American scientist and man of letters in the world of the French Enlightenment. In December, for example, he returns to earlier scientific interests, writing in French a paper on the aurora borealis for presentation to the Academie des Sciences. He begins 1779 reinvigorated, productive and attentive to his new responsibilities. ... Read more

23. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)
by Benjamin Franklin
 Paperback: 176 Pages (2005-04-14)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$12.87
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Asin: 0760768617
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Everyone should read this book because Benjamin Franklin, as the back cover indicates, was a "quintessential American". This autobiography does not chronicle in detail every aspect of Franklin's life but it does give insight into the type of man Franklin was and strove to be. Franklin did not have a formal education and yet he was a successful philosopher, inventor, businessman and observer of people and his surroundings (Bill Gates anyone?). It was through these observations that he was able to navigate the bureaucratic politics of his time and influence people. This book does not touch on his many inventions but does enumerate the many ventures Franklin was instrumental in forming, such as the University of Pennsylvania, the first hospital in the nation, Pennsylvania Hospital, the first philosophical society, firehouse and circulating library.

A few cons: The book ends abruptly. A couple of sections are long and left me wondering why Franklin chose to share that information about his life with the reader. Finally, there are terms that he uses that are of his time so it may take a few minutes to understand the meaning. However, these cons are not significant and again, I recommend this book to everyone.

... Read more

24. Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World
Hardcover: 396 Pages (2005-11-11)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$24.99
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Asin: 0300107994
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World examines the many facets of America’s most extraordinary founding father. Politician, diplomat, scientist, printer, and civic improver, Franklin influenced every aspect of American life, from his own time to the present. This book, designed to accompany the traveling Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary exhibition celebrating Franklin’s 300th birthday, includes essays by ten prominent scholars that offer an overview of Franklin’s life and  cover the full range of his interests and achievements, illustrated by more than 265 color images—portraits, manuscripts, drawings, maps, paintings, engravings, and a plethora of Franklin's possessions, from teacups to printing equipment. This comprehensive guide, combining new scholarship with unique images—many of which have never been exhibited before—will be a must-have for anyone interested in Franklin.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth it
The Ben Franklin Exhibit is at our Museum at the moment and this is its companion book.It is a book with various authors/experts presenting their expertise on Ben through various stages in his life.I found it accurate and interesting as well as an "easy read" - without being simplistic.If you are interested in Ben Franklin and don't want to read a long biography, this is a worth while purchase. For those who know more about Ben, it has good biography as well as photos of artifacts associated with his life.

The artifacts in the exhibit (presented in the book) have been gathered from many sources and probably will never be collected together again - so it is a historical reference as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars A revealing look at the man
I'm always amazed at how revisionist historians, like children who can't wait to tattle, manage to expose the foibles of our founding fathers.One by one, each has had his name or reputation besmirched.A few, John Adams, and George Washington seem to survive the exposure and remain adored by millions.Benjamin Franklin is another founding father who has weathered modern day examination and is still beloved by his countrymen.

Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World will not disappoint the reader and it will not take a cheap shot at a man who lived more than 200 years ago.Organized with chapters like The Life of Benjamin Franklin; Benjamin Franklin, Printer; Benjamin Franklin, Civic Improver; Benjamin Franklin, Pragmatic Visionary: Politician, Diplomat, Statesman, etc, the book will shed new light on to a life that was well lived and well enjoyed.

Well reseached with lavish illustrations and photographs, Benjamin Franklin will be a terrific addition to your personal library. ... Read more

25. Benjamin Franklin: Electrified the World With New Ideas (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Inventors and Scientists)
by Mike Venezia
Paperback: 32 Pages (2010-03)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$3.36
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Asin: 0531207757
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These books are without a doubt the definitive and most entertaining biographies of scientists for young readers. Author and artist Mike Venezia provides hilarious, cartoon-style illustrations to complement his easy-to-read text and full-color reproductions of the scientists' sketches and notebooks. ... Read more

26. A Benjamin Franklin Reader
by Walter Isaacson
Paperback: 576 Pages (2005-05-31)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$3.46
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Asin: 0743273982
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Edited and Annotated by Walter Isaacson

Selected and annotated by the author of the acclaimed Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, this collection of Franklin's writings shows why he was the bestselling author of his day and remains America's favorite founder and wit. Includes an introductory essay exploring Franklin's life and impact as a writer, and each piece is accompanied by a preface and notes that provide background, context, and analysis.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Ben Franklin Book
...actually I can't say it's the best, but I can say I did a significant amount of searching for the perfect compilation of Ben Franklin writings to add to my library. This book (speaking of the hardback) is very nice. The binding is nice and tight. The dust jacked is made of very high quality paper, it almost feels like it's some sort of polyester. It's a nice book... aesthetically.

Inside it has a number of Franklin's writings; stuff he published in his newspapers, essays, letters, and of course it has his autobiography at the end. That's the part that I actually read. The autobiography is excellent. It gives you a real flavor for the kind of life that we all can live. Read it, enjoy it, learn from it, and then put it away for a few years and then read it again.

Buy the hardback if you love books not only for their words but... just because you love having nice books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Bits of History
Bought the book used - Seller's ad was completely accurate, and the book arrived ahead of schedule.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book.
This is a fine selection from Franklin's writings, including the entire 'Autobiography'. All texts have been judiciously chosen by the editor, arranged in chronological order and prefaced by intelligent, concise and well written introductory notes. Franklin's importance and permanence clearly emerge from the reading.

I only wish there were more excerpts from Franklin's delightful 'Poor Richard's Almanac'. The selections presented in this edition come from the Almanacs for the years 1733, 1734, 1736, 1737, 1738 and 1739, and they barely fill 15 pages. Nonetheless they might well satisfy the reader and in any event there is plenty of rarely published letters and articles from the Pennsylvania Gazette to make up for the possible lack of material from the almanacs signed by 'Richard Saunders'.

This is the perfect book to discover Franklin and also a very good one for those who already know him, thanks to the editors insightful notes and to the opportunity to review Franklin's writings in chronological order, from a historical and biographical perspective.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Original Diplomat
This is a great collection of the writings of Benjamin Franklin.For me, the real value here lies not so much in the fact that he was a self-made man, but in the advice he gave about connecting with people and interacting with others both from a business and from a personal point of view.His ability in that area led directly to his success (along with some luck).I wish more people read the Autobiography and other papers just for that reason alone.In the long run, that may be the greatest contribution made by Ben Franklin. ... Read more

27. Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought (American Political Thought)
by Jerry Weinberger
Paperback: 336 Pages (2008-03-06)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$13.55
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Asin: 0700615849
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Moral paragon, public servant, founding father; scoundrel, opportunist, womanizing phony: There are many Benjamin Franklins. Now, as we celebrate the tercentenary of Franklin's birth, Jerry Weinberger reveals the Franklin behind the many masks and shows that the real Franklin was far more remarkable than anyone has yet discovered.

Taking the Autobiography as the key to Franklin's thought, Weinberger argues that previous assessments have not yet probed to the bottom of Ben's famous irony and elusiveness. While others take the self-portrait as an elder statesman's relaxed and playful retrospection, Weinberger unveils it as the window to Franklin's deepest reflections on God, virtue, justice, equality, natural rights, love, the good life, the modern technological project, and the place and limits of reason in politics and human experience. Along the way, Weinberger explores Franklin's ribald humor, usually ignored or toned down by historians and critics, and shows it to be charming--and philosophic.

Following Franklin's rhetorical twists and turns, Weinberger discovers a serious thinker who was profoundly critical of religion, moral virtue, and political ideals and whose grasp of human folly constrained his hopes for enlightenment and political reform. This close and amusing reading of Franklin portrays a scrupulous dialectical philosopher, humane and wise, but more provocative and disturbing than even the most hardboiled interpreters have taken Franklin to be--a freethinking critic of Enlightenment freethinking, who played his moral and theological cards very close to the vest.

Written for general readers who want to delve more deeply into the mind of a great man and great American, Benjamin Franklin Unmasked shows us a massively powerful intellect lurking behind the leather-apron countenance. This lively, witty, and revelatory book is indispensable for those who want to meet the real Franklin. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars If Franklin were Greek, would he be a zetetic?
I am interested in comparing the 5 best biographies of Benjamin Franklin that have been written (thus far) in the new millennia, emphasizing Weinberger's account.

THE BEST 5 BIOGRAPHIES ARE (in order of publication date)
Edmund S. Morgan's Benjamin Franklin (Yale Nota Bene S.)
H. W. Brands's The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin
Walter Isaacson's Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Gordon S. Wood's The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin
Jerry Weinberger's Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought (American Political Thought)

The first 4 of these biographies are presented as in the typical historically (and chronologically) biographical approach.There are 24 pictures in Morgan's book, no pictures in Brands's book, 32 pictures in Isaacson's book, 25 pictures in Wood's book, and no pictures in Weinberger's book.
I am not going to write about how great Franklin was or what he did (he was great and he did so much).I want to write primarily about how each of these authors portrays Franklin's character differently by highlighting different aspects of his life.

In London (1725) Franklin wrote "A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain," which seemed to show that Franklin was a young radical Deist.In the pamphlet, he denied free will, denied the existence of vice and virtue and merit, and rejected particular providence.Later, when the pamphlet was reprinted in Boston, Franklin became a social outcast of sorts and he wrote that he was "inclined to leave Boston" because people were calling him "an infidel or atheist."When Franklin fled Boston he was 17 years old. He later wrote about that pamphlet that Ï began to suspect that this doctrine, though it might be true, was not very useful."
Later, after becoming rich from his printing presses, writings, and scientific discoveries, Franklin became a statesman, diplomat, Founding Father, and icon.
At the end of his life he wrote his "Autobiography," where Franklin said that he "never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity, that he made the world, and governed it by his Providence; that the most acceptable service to God was the doing of good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished and virtue rewarded either here or hereafter; these I esteemed the essentials of every religion".

If you've read Leo Strauss's "Persecution and the Art of Writing" then you'll be familiar with Weinberger's hermeneutic.Weinberger sees a contradiction:Franklin seriously doubted as a young man what he says to have never doubted as an old man (compare the 1725 pamphlet to the aforementioned quote from the "Autobiography").Weinberger notes, "...to my knowledge, this flat contradiction has remained unnoticed by everyone who has written..." on Franklin (pg. 49).According to Weinberger, Franklin's treatment in Boston and his belief that George Whitfield should not have written anything that would leave him open to attack, created a Franklin who wrote subtly for those who take the time to peal back the shades of meaning in his own texts.Indicators are contradictions and contradictions are dissolvable when we find something deeper which ties things together.
Franklin is a "radical skeptic" according to Weinberger.The philosophical Franklin is hidden behind his humor (often debauched).Weinberger's Franklin is a true anomaly among the other historians.He attacks Isaacson's pragmatist-Franklin as "always look[ing] on the bright side of things because they are not really pragmatists" (pg. 289; my brackets).He attacks Wood in a 2 and ½ page footnote, where Wood's presentation of an "angry Franklin" is (somehow) incompatible with Franklin's proposed skepticism (pg. 314-317).Weinberger says that as a philosopher Franklin could not have sustained anger as a part of his political motivations because the skeptical Franklin would be "able to reflect philosophically on the perfect irrationality of anger as the wellspring of moral and political commitments" (pg. 223, see also pg. 288).In fact, Brands might agree, he said that Franklin was a skeptic by temperament (Brands, pg. 94).However, Weinberger sees Franklin's skepticism as "even more radical and more thoughtfully grounded..." (pg. xiii).Because Franklin is supposedly a skeptic he could not agree with Spinoza and Hobbes who appear as dogmatic as the religious leaders (begin with materialist assumptions and end with their conclusions and visa versa for spiritualists...see pg. 75-59 and 277).However, Franklin does follow Hobbes insofar as Hobbes was the protégé of Francis Bacon.Weinberger calls Franklin's politics "political Baconianism: the view that politics is an artful game aimed at getting things to work right and not a matter of setting things `right' in the sense of justice" (pg. 234-235).Hobbes "outlined the most powerful version of political Baconianism" (pg. 235).Yet Franklin could not follow Hobbes all the way because Hobbes became a materialist-dogmatist and Franklin remained a skeptic.Franklin, in a sense, tried to take on Socratic Ignorance, Franklin was "first the careful, dialectical philosopher..." (pg. 290).The historians, on the other hand, who follow loosely Morgan's notion that "charity" was the "guiding principle of Franklin's life" (Morgan, pg. 24) continue along with Wood who says Franklin "came to realize that science and philosophy could never take the place of service in government" (Wood, pg. 66).

One of Weinberger's best summaries of Franklin's quasi-political machinations may be that "for all his real efforts to foster his minimalist `creed' that would not `shock the professors of any religion,' he always included divine punishment in that creed and was quite willing both to shock believers and to side with enthusiasts, whichever prudence required.Franklin's concrete religious politics could be well described as inclined towards `managed enthusiasm'" (pg. 279).

5-0 out of 5 stars So good I'm telling strangers!
This book was recommended to me by a friend.And since reading the book, both she and I have recommended it to everyone we know.All that was left was for me to write a review here and to start recommending it to strangers.I fear though that I cannot do this particular book justice with my meager reviewing abilities.The book is the most enjoyable scholarly biography I have ever read. It is both profound and laugh-out-loud funny. It deftly leads the reader through the complexities of Franklin's philosophy, helping one arrive at a new and deeper respect for one of this country's worthiest heroes.And it allows one a comical glimpse at the whimsical workings of a genius's mind.I'm currently rearranging a course I'm planning to teach in order to make room for this fascinating contribution to the study of our forefathers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Franklin Book and Maybe Best Pol Biography Ever
I have read a great many books on the founders-including several on Franklin-and this stands head-and-shoulders above the rest.Weinberger combines historical knowledge with political insight and philosophic depth in a way that I've never seen.The resulting interpetation was a revelation, changing not only how I view Franklin, but how I view the world.If you've never encountered a book of this sort, you owe it to yourself to read it.It's a rare treat to find one first-rate mind exploring and exhibiting the labyrinthian delights to be found in another.Bonus: the book is also extremely funny, perhaps the funniest political biography ever written.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Exploration of Franklin's Though
Jerry Weinberger has truly revealed the real Franklin behind the masks.First, this book is truly hilarious...Franklin's scatalogical humor, his idea to create sweet-smelling flatulence, or his advice to bed older women who will be more grateful, makes reading this also-serious work a laugh riot!!

Second, Weinberger has taken Franklin more seriously than anyone else to date and lays bare the real intent behind his though.The review by "Dave" here completely misses the point of the book.Franklin mocked everything and everyone, including himself, so one has to look beyond the words written to the true meaning, which is revealed by Weinberger to lie in numerous contradictions, confusing language and re-worded poems.For example, the "contradiction" that "Dave" fails to see is that Franklin at one point in his Autobiography mentions that he never stopped believing in god; something that completely contradicts an earlier claim by Franklin that he did indeed stop believing, only to return to religion later in life.As Weinberger mentions, is it believable or possible that a religious person could forget that he once did not believe, or forget the very moment at which he became a believer?Hardly.Weinberger's task is to unravel this mystery...and he does so masterfully.

If you want to know Benjamin Franklin beyond what is presented in the biographies (and I have read those by Brands and Isaacson) to see the true depth and power of his thoughts, Weinberger's book is excellent!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Franklin book ever.
This book presents Franklin in a novel and truly compelling light.The style is lucid and witty, the content is persuasive and intriguing.A first-rate tour de force. ... Read more

28. Benjamin Franklin and the Politics of Improvement (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-C)
by Dr. Alan Houston
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2008-11-18)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$14.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300124473
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This fascinating book explores Benjamin Franklin’s social and political thought. Although Franklin is often considered “the first American,” his intellectual world was cosmopolitan. An active participant in eighteenth-century Atlantic debates over the modern commercial republic, Franklin combined abstract analyses with practical proposals. Houston treats Franklin as shrewd, creative, and engaged—a lively thinker who joined both learned controversies and political conflicts at home and abroad.


Drawing on meticulous archival research, Houston examines such tantalizing themes as trade and commerce, voluntary associations and civic militias, population growth and immigration policy, political union and electoral institutions, freedom and slavery. In each case, he shows how Franklin urged the improvement of self and society.


Engagingly written and richly illustrated, this book provides a compelling portrait of Franklin, a fresh perspective on American identity, and a vital account of what it means to be practical.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book for General Readers, history Buffs, Franklin admirers
Everything about this book is outstanding.
1) It's a delight to read.When I was reading Houston's book, when I'd lay the book down, my wife would hijack it, start reading, and pay no attention to my feeble efforts to reclaim it.We both loved it.
2) It packs a whole lot of information into just 229 pages of text and 80-some pages of Chronology, textual notes and Index.There's no padding; and the language is direct -- no pussyfooting, no circumlocutions, no styrofoam filler to make the book appear longer.
3) The thesis of "Benjamin Franklin & The Politics of Social Improvement" is that Franklin the public man, is best understood in the light of "improvements" which he advocated, participated in, implemented as an individual, participated in groups working for "improvement", or organized groups for improvements.It's a good thesis, one which suits Franklin's life.Houston develops his thesis with great literary, historical and biographical skill.So he sheds a great deal of light on Franklin.But not on Franklin alone.Houston, in each of his main themes (Commerce, Association, Population, Union, and Slavery)shows where Franklin fitted in with the theme, the other persons involved, the social forces influencing events, and the nature & significance of Franklin's involvement.All of these themes are interesting, and informative beyond what I have heretofore read elswhere.

The book is selective.It makes no effort to portray all of Franklin's life.There are gaps.Nevertheless, Houston expertly supplies continuity to his study; and nowhere is there an awkward transition from one theme to another.

The event, or stream of events, in Franklin's career which most astounded me was his formation of "The Association."Toward the end of the Seven Years' War, Pennsylvania needed a fort on the Delaware, and a militia.Because of internal political strife, the government would not fund or organize these crucial means of defense.So Benjamin Franklin, on his own, planned, publicised, organized and funded a Pennsylvania militia, for which fully ten thousand men volunteered! We readers are able to appreciate Franklin's accomplishment because Alan Houston shows the contemporary political situation, the philosophical and historical (including Machiavelli) background UPON WHICH FRANKLIN DREW (not just ideas floating in the air).
Along the way, as he informs us about the Association militia, Houston explains and illustrates the lotteries of Franklin's era.This provides background for his fascinating description of how Franklin created and operated the incredibly successful lottery which he used to fund the Association.
Years later, the Paxton Boys, having slaughtered a small tribe of peaceloving Indians, got together about one hundred-fifty armed men, and marched on Philadelphia to murder the one hundred-forty Indians gathered there for safety.That's another story which Houston relates.I will merely mention that Franklin had written and published major items objecting to the work of the Paxton Boys (and excoriating them!).So when these characters marched on Philadelphia, one thousand men used Franklin's house as their headquarters, marched out to confront the Paxton Boys -- who stopped in their tracks.A negotiator got these outlaws to return home peacefully.One guess who conducted the negotiations.

Houston is equally informative and interesting all throughout his book.If this review fails to inspire you to get the book, all I can say is that tidbits are found in the endnotes.Oh, yes, one of the scholars who recommends the book is the late Leo LeMAY -- editor of the Library of America'sselection of Franklin's writings.This book of writings is just great; and it's even more fun when coupled with Alan Houston's Benjamin Franklin & the Politics of Improvement. ... Read more

29. The Compleated Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin (Volume Two: 1757-1790)
by Benjamin Franklin
Paperback: 480 Pages (2007-07-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.03
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596985291
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is one of the greatest autobiographies of all time—but it was incomplete. Franklin ended his life’s story in 1757, when he was fifty-one. He lived another thirty-three eventful years, serving as America’s advocate in London, Pennsylvania’s representative in the Continental Congress, and America’s wartime ambassador to France. Here is the rest of the story, in Franklin’s own words. One of the most fascinating of our founding fathers, Franklin was a polymath, a practical statesman, and an incomparable cynic and wit. The Compleated Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin, faithfully compiled and edited from Franklin’s papers, reveals why he became a spokesman for American independence as well as his views on the Constitution, such fellow patriots as Adams and Jefferson, on French women, and more.Mark Skousen is a descendant of Benjamin Franklin through Franklin’s grandson Louis Bache. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

1-0 out of 5 stars God was important to Ben Franklin
Mr. Skousen made this comment during his presentation by C-span, "Franklin changed from being a deist to being a theist."

That remark indicates that Skousen doesn't have any clue as to what a deist knows.The best explanation is written by Thomas Paine, a deist himself.Deists believe that the creation is the bible.They believe that God speaks to no one.

Scientists are able to learn what God has created such as atoms, photosynthesis, the climate, the ability to reproduce, and billions of other creations.Other examples are the force of gravity, the precise angle of the earth's axis that give the earth seasons as we revolve around the sun at more than 66,000 mph, etc.

Deists don't believe in the existence of God, they know for a fact that God is the creator.A theist studies religions.Deism isn't any religion.There are no churches, no priests, no written bible.No one promotes deism.I don't care who believes in God and who doesn't believe in God.God isn't going to disappear because people believe or don't believe in God.God's creations are facts that can't be denied by irrational nonsense.

Mark Skousen has no proof that Ben Franklin ever quit being a deist.

5-0 out of 5 stars Leaves you wanting more
A wonderful insight into the affairs of one of the great Americans of all-time. It should be noted that this book is not an actual autobiography written by Franklin, it is a compilation of his writings,letters,etc. put together in chronological order to provide a autobiography type feel. These writings gave a unique insight on historical events. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more about Dr. Franklin.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice for a gift
I purchased this book as a present for a son-in-law who said he's been looking for this book for a long time.

I'm sure he'll enjoy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Getting to Know a Great American
This is an inspiring book, sure to make you think about how awesome it was that our nation was founded and hugely successful in such a short time, against all odds. Drawn from Franklin's writings and compiled by one of his descendants, it covers a wide variety of topics, more than just politics, in an informative as well as entertaining way. There can be no doubt that Benjamin Franklin was one of the greatest, wisest and best-loved men of his day, not just in America, but in France and England as well. I highly recommend this very readable and thought-provoking book.

5-0 out of 5 stars This fascinating book is not stodgy
I had never read Volume 1 of Benjamin Franklin's autobiography, so I didn't know what to expect when I bought Volume 2, which was compiled from Dr. Franklin's diaries by one of his descendants, Dr. Mark Skousen. I really thought that because 200 years had gone by, it would be rather dry with way too many historical details and that I would never finish it. A good book to help me fall asleep at night. But I was wrong. I simply loved it.

Dr. Franklin was quite a character and this book shows in his own words what he thought of his fellow 'founding fathers,' (especially his opinion of John Adams!!) how he managed to keep some of his English friends in the midst of the Revolutionary War, and the woman who got away (quite possibly the only one).

This is not a book just for a history class.It is most, most entertaining and I finished it in record time.I wish Ben had lived to 100 instead of just 84.

Highly recommended if you like history and even if you don't.

Heidi Walter

... Read more

30. Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia (Landmark Books)
by Margaret Cousins
Paperback: 160 Pages (2004-01-27)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394849280
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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The amazing life of Ben Franklin--inventor, printer, editor, statesman, ambassador, and arguably one of the most important Americans in history--is depicted with warmth and insight. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Son loves this book...
My ten year old son loves this book.He's amazed and excited about all of Ben Franklin's inventions and ideas; especially the ones that were for the better of the community.I highly recommend this book for a great look back at the history and contributions of Ben Franklin.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the targeted age
Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia is a great book for the elementary school reader. When we visit historic sites we buy books about the people, places, and/or events of the area and time in history. This was one such book. This book gives the reader a good overview of the life of Ben Franklin, each chapter dealing with a different aspect of his life. It covers the major points without going into details that distract the young reader from the story of Benjamin Franklin's amazing life, highlighting some of his greatest accomplishments. As a mother and a historian, I highly recommend this book for the yound reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars My 9 year-old reluctant reader is begging for this one...
although she normally only enjoys fiction!She's giggling with excitement with every chapter and can't stop talking about this book!If you have have a reluctant history student and want to *spark* an interest in Ben Franklin's life and work, *experiment* with this excellent Landmark that reads more like a story than a biography!

5-0 out of 5 stars Landmark books are always great
Landmark books are always great and this is no exception.Written by an excellent author, this is a good book for young people to learn about Ben Frankliin.Unfortuntely, children today seem to think that everything has to have a fun value!This book may not be "fun" in that sense, but it is a very interesting book about a very interesting person.It may not be politically correct by today's standards, but it is good solid history, a worthy book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Giving a little balance
If you've been playing Nintendo all night and watching TV all day, the pace of this book is going to seem slow in comparison.But for the serious young reader who wants to learn interesting historical facts, this is a terrific book by a terrific author in a terrific series. ... Read more

31. Benjamin Franklin (DK Biography)
by Stephen Krensky
Paperback: 128 Pages (2007-12-17)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0756635284
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Filled with archival photographs and amazing fact boxes, this groundbreaking series introduces young readers to some of history's most interesting and influential characters.

Tells the story of the famous statesman's remarkable life, from his early childhood and upbringing through his scientific experiments, his politically active years in the U.S. and France, to his death and legacy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Children's historical biographies
I'm collecting and reading this entire series of historical biographies for children. I enjoyed the Benjamin Franklin edition. I question calling these books "A photographic story of a life" since some, such as Ben's, took place before photography was invented. Other than that, they are a short, informational read with nice pictures. ... Read more

32. Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography
by Benjamin Franklin
Paperback: 126 Pages (2010-03-29)
list price: US$6.88 -- used & new: US$6.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1150871547
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The book has no illustrations or index. It may have numerous typos or missing text. However, purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original rare book from the publisher's website (GeneralBooksClub.com). You can also preview excerpts of the book there. Purchasers are also entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Original Publisher: Longmans, Green ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding Norton Critical Edition
If you are looking for "the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin," this is the volume to get.It is a Norton Critical Edition, perhaps the gold standard of anthologies, and it is edited by Lemay and Zall.

I believe Lemay and Zall are the "experts" in the autobiographical writings of Benjamin Franklin.

Critical essays include essays written contemporaneously with this autobiography (including David Hume and John Adams); in the 19th century (including Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, Mark Twain); in the 20th century (including D.H. Lawrence, W. Somerset Maugham).The critical essay by D. H. Lawrence is a classic, but it is clear that Lawrence "misread" Benjamin Franklin, and having read it, I have lost some admiration for Lawrence.

Watch for this volume at discount book stores and independent books sellers through Amazon.com.

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding edition of a classic American text
Anyone who has ever taken a literature class in college knows the NortonCritical Editions: an absolutely first-rate version of the text, a healthysupply of contemporary responses and letters, and the best essays yetwritten about the text.This edition of Benjamin Franklin's"Autobiography" is no exception.The quintessential AmericanEnlightenment figure, Franklin is far more complex than most people think,and far funnier.When it came time to write the Declaration ofIndependence, the Congress wouldn't give it to Franklin alone, in largepart because they were afraid he'd hide a joke in it.One of his mostinfamous pieces of writing was under the guise of a prostitute beingbrought before the court for having yet another illegitimate child -- andthen attacking the court for making it necessary for her to pursue herprofession!And the letter Franklin wrote his own illegitimate son abouthow to keep a mistress is a classic in and of itself.The only great flawin the autobiography is that it stops before Franklin ever reaches theRevolutionary War, and thus we don't have the inside story of that periloustime.But anybody wanting to understand Franklin's life, the means towealth, or the evolution of a brilliant mind will love this text.It'smandatory reading for every American, in my mind.

4-0 out of 5 stars Poor Richard's Rich Insights
How many books have you read that you remember thirty-six years later?Ben Franklin's insights into principles of self-improvement, and his love for the adventure of life were not only inspiring to me when I discoveredhis autobiography in the Holmesburg Library in Philadelphia at age 14, butthey still remain motivational for me at age 50! Ben Franklin was theDale Carnegie of his age. He realized that by following basic core valueprinciples, and by constant practice in the adventure of life, he could notonly creatively change himself, but he could positively impact those aroundhim as well. Ben Franklin led a purposeful, creative life.I am thankfulthat he had the foresight to pass his exhuberance along to us in this hisautobiography. It was fun to read.I think I'll read it again.Thanks,Ben. ... Read more

33. Uncommon Cents: Benjamin Franklin Secrets to Achieving Personal Financial Success
by Lynn G. Robbins, Lisa Vermillion, Dennis Webb
Paperback: 128 Pages (1989-06-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$3.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0939817063
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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What if Benjamin Franklin were to manage your money?

Ben Franklin had an uncommon sense for sound money management. In this book we share the secrets which made him one of the wealthiest and most successful men in early American history. You will learn how to 1) control debt, 2) manage spending, and most importantly, 3) realize your financial dreams. Plain and practical advice for your money!

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book for the money challenged individual
What a great book, it speaks in my terms and I can easily understand every aspect of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Money Management Guide
This is one of the best systems to manage personal money accounts.A concise system if one uses it as it is laid out will provide the information to make informed personal financial decisions.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's back in print !One of our favorite books.
It's back in print!! My wife and I read and have tried to follow the advice in this entertaining and useful book. (We've read a lot of books on money management, but we think this one has the most practical ideas). We even had each of our teenagers read it through (with a small bribe!) -it was a good introduction to the real world of money they could understand. They were drawn more to the cartoons and quotes, and the stories of doctors and school teachers and their money problems.... Ben Franklin happens to be one of our heroes and we found that this book is based on the principles he followed, enabling him to retire when he was only 42. We especially appreciated what they call the "Spending Window.' It seems to have changed the way we look at our money and has solved a few disagreements on what to buy next. That was refreshing. The book teaches the foundational principles of saving, spending and investing.... We gave it to a few newly-married couples, and have heard back from some of them so far, who also said they really liked it and hoped to implement some of its ideas.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
I also agree its a shame this book is out of print. Learning the basics of earning, saving and spending should be as essential as learning your ABC's. How can schools attempt to
prepare students for life as adults without a basic knowledge of
money. This book provides in a very basic, easy to read format the basics of saving, spending and accumulating wealth. Without
this knowledge the average persons spends an entire life making
financial mistakes while they chase an illusory dream of financial independence.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best ... book I ever bought
I have been a student of personal finance for many years (Charles Givens, and others) spent over a thousand dollars on what is good information, too. However, the biggest bang for the buck has to be Uncommon Cents. What they do in 114 pages is concise, entertaining, loaded with cartoons, and right on! The plan to get out of debt works, a personal testimonial, and the financial myths timeless. Highly recommended reading! ... Read more

34. Meet Benjamin Franklin
by Maggi Scarf, Maggie Scarf
Paperback: 80 Pages (2002-04)
list price: US$4.50
Isbn: 0375815244
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A biography of Benjamin Franklin highlighting his inventions, his newspaper and almanac, his work on the Declaration of Independence, and his diplomatic trips to England and France on behalf of the colonies. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Step-Up Series provides entertainment and education
As a homeschool mother, I want my child to enjoy the learning process. I have been delighted with the Step-Up series and Benjamin Franklin has been no exception. They are written in an straight forward, but not dumbed down, manner. My daughter and I got the high points of Franklin's life, as well as the ideals he stood for, in a lively, interesting format.

I would have preferred more pictures; but that's just me!

5-0 out of 5 stars Meet Benjamin Franklin
This is a great book for any child from 2nd grade to 4th grade to read. It is in large print which makes it easy for children to read. This book highlights all the main accomplishments and events of Benjamin Franklin's life. It is very interesting and will hold a young child's attention from the begining until the end of the book. I really enjoyed the way it covered his whole life, not just when he started making great inventions, like most books. It was one of my favorite books when I was in elementary school. ... Read more

35. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, with eBook (Tantor Unabridged Classics)
by Benjamin Franklin
Audio CD: Pages (2008-11-17)
list price: US$27.99 -- used & new: US$20.43
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Asin: 1400108985
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In what is considered to be one of the best autobiographies written in colonial America, Benjamin Franklin portrays a fascinating picture of life in prerevolutionary Philadelphia. In his own words, Franklin describes his life as a printer, inventor, scientist, and politician.
... Read more

36. Back in Time with Benjamin Franklin: A Qwerty Stevens Adventure (Qwerty Stevens Adventures)
by Dan Gutman
Paperback: 192 Pages (2005-05-17)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$2.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689878842
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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One minute Qwerty Stevens is researching a last-minute report on the Internet, and the next minute Benjamin Franklin is sitting on his bed! Thanks to the Anytime Anywhere Machine hooked up to his computer, Qwerty has snatched Franklin from July 4, 1776, the very day the Declaration of Independence was signed. Qwerty and his best friend, Joe, realize they have to get Franklin back in time for the signing, and they can't resist seeing it with their own eyes. Can the boys make sure the Declaration gets signed like history says it should? And can they make it back home? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for children who don't like to read
My son, in the 5th grade, has not liked any books he reads.He does not read for pleasure but 2-3 times a year he must read a book for a book report at school. We struggle each time to get him to read and what a struggle. Except now.This series of back in time books have been fantastic.Not only will he read them, he actually "eats them up".He is done with the book and asking for more. We initially got him hooked on the sports back in time book since that is what he prefers to do instead of homework.Give it a try, easy reading and interesting facts. ... Read more

37. Ben Franklin's Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman's Life
by Candace Fleming
Hardcover: 128 Pages (2003-09-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$6.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689835493
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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"What good shall I do today?"

How Ben Franklin answered that question -- through his work as a writer, printer, statesman, and inventor -- forever established him as one of America's greatest figures. On one day in 1729 he published the first edition of the Pennsylvania Gazette; on another day he changed the Declaration of Independence by adding the famous words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident"; and it was all in a day's work when he planted the first willow trees in America.

Modeled on his own Poor Richard's Almanack, this unique scrapbook captures Franklin's countless accomplishments. Biography and anecdote, cartoon and etching mesh to create a fascinating portrait of this most fascinating man. Anyone interested in the birth of American democracy...or curious about the rise of the U.S. postal system...or wondering how paper money came to be...or wanting to know how Ben Franklin was part of it all, is sure to pore over Ben Franklin's Almanac. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best!
I saw this book in a local book store several years ago, but didn't buy it. When I saw it again after reading Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography I had to get it. Candace Fleming's style of writing makes it fun to read and the layout felt colonial. I lent it to a neighbor who read it with her children. I have to say that this is not just for children. I enjoy perusing it on occasion, myself!

5-0 out of 5 stars knowledge
Excellent book!!!
I learned so much from this book, and I bought it for my kids. I would recommend it to any one.

5-0 out of 5 stars You can pick it up and dip into the pages at random.
It isn't often that we are lucky enough to learn about a man who had the curiosity of a child and the mind of a genius, who loved learning and was able to find humor in all types of situations. Benjamin Franklin was such a man.

Candace Fleming allows us to explore Franklin's extraordinary life in a new way. She has chosen to present Franklin's life in the form of a scrapbook or almanac, rather than a traditional biography. Franklin in fact gained a good portion of his original popularity by publishing an almanac himself titled POOR RICHARD'S ALMANAC. It is perhaps only fitting that his life be presented in the form of an almanac as well.

It is quite astonishing to discover within the pages of this remarkable book how much Franklin accomplished in his lifetime. In addition to his electrical experiments involving kites, Franklin organized the first real postal system in the thirteen colonies, printed the first paper money, and saw years before anyone else that the American Revolution was going to happen. He also recognized that slavery would be an issue that would not go away; he knew that one day it would be a problem for the people of the United States.

One of the wonderful things about this book is that you can pick it up and dip into the pages at random --- and once you pick it up, you cannot put it down. Resembling an almanac or scrapbook with an old-fashioned looking script, pictures, photographs, copies of letters and other documents, BEN FRANKLIN'S ALMANAC is a refreshing new look at the life of one of America's greatest men. We are able to marvel and sometimes smile at the things Benjamin Franklin did and said. Surely, such a lover of books would be proud of this gem.

--- Reviewed by Marya Jansen-Gruber

5-0 out of 5 stars A lively coverage for kids with good reading skills
This account of Franklin's life holds a little over a hundred pages, and has good large print and fine pictures to offset the many words from Franklin's own almanac which offers a scrapbook of his accomplishments. Modeled on his Poor Richard's Almanack but revised for younger audiences, this blends biography and observation with cartoons, etchings, and other illustrations to create a lively coverage for kids with good reading skills.

5-0 out of 5 stars Richie's Picks: BEN FRANKLIN'S ALMANAC
"Ben's Rules for Being a Better Writer
"Everyone, Ben believed, had a need to communicate well. Over the years he developed and stuck to these writing rules.
"Good writing should be smooth, clear, and short, and the art of saying little in much must be avoided at all costs. In written discourse, every needless thing gives offense and must be eliminated...Had this always been done, many large and tiresome volumes would have shrunk into pamphlets, and many a pamphlet into a single period."

It seems like a stream of new Benjamin Franklin biographies make their appearance as steadily as the changing of the seasons. That perception has caused my building a healthy skepticism concerning the need for just one more. But Candace Fleming has taken Ben's writing rules to heart. Less is more in BEN FRANKLIN'S ALMANAC, Fleming's continually entertaining and enlightening collection of quotes, anecdotes, illustrations, American history, and other tasty tidbits (including the occasional fish story) that the author has harvested from original source materials.

Rather than assembling a typical chronological tome, Fleming has grouped this assortment of goodies into an eye-catching patchwork format that is clumped around eight themes: Boyhood Memories, The Family Album, The Writer's Journal, Tokens of a Well-Lived Life, The Scientist's Scrapbook, Revolutionary Memorabilia, Souvenirs from France, and Final Remembrances.

"All his life Ben tried to do what was right. His daily routine reminded him to put mankind's problems before his own.
"I rose at five each morning, and addressed Powerful Goodness [Ben's name for God] with the same question: What Good Shall I Do Today? I then studied and planned my day until eight, worked until twelve, dined and overlooked my account books until two, worked again until six when I had supper, music and conversation. At ten I examined my day. What Good Had I Done That Day?"

Not that he was perfect, or anything. As Ben noted, "With regards to places for things, papers, etc., I am a dismal failure." And as Fleming reveals, while his genius included his being credited for so many important inventions including bifocals, he nonetheless lacked the vision to see that women should be accorded the same opportunities and rights as men:

"When his young friend Polly Stevenson talked of devoting herself to studying philosophy, Ben was appalled. 'Knowledge may be useful,' he warned her, 'but there is nothing of equal dignity and importance than being a good daughter, a good wife, a good mother.' Ben wondered why women needed the 'full Pandora's box of knowledge' opened to them. Instead, he argued, women should be taught useful and functional skills--reading, writing, and accounting. This, he claimed, 'stood them in good stead to be active, helpful partners in their husband's business.' "

And, speaking of errors, "Ben once invited a group of friends to an 'electrical picnic.' He planned to kill a turkey by 'electrical shock,' then roast it with 'electrical fire.' Unfortunately, he became so engrossed in conversation he forgot to pay close attention to what he was doing. He touched two wires together and zap! Ben received the shock instead of the turkey. His body vibrated from head to toe, and smoke curled from one buckled shoe. Luckily, he escaped with just a few bruises and a sore chest."

Through the accumulated pieces of her collection, the author succinctly covers the well-trod life-of-Franklin: Ben's printing career, centered on his 26 years as writer and publisher of the annual Poor Richard's Almanack (the second-most read book in the Colonies), would by itself have insured Franklin's immortality. Then that aspect of his life was topped by the jaw-dropping string of inventions coupled with his instigation of public libraries, street lamps, quality postal service, and volunteer fire departments, which made him even more famous. And then, his involvement--the old guy with the fire in his belly--in producing the Declaration of Independence, followed by his pivotal role in the winning of the Revolution by persuading France to enter the fray when Washington's troops were on the verge of defeat, elevated Franklin to American sainthood. If that wasn't enough, he returned to America and (at 81 years old) helped formulate the Constitution.

But he STILL wasn't done!

"Saint" Ben had at one time been a slave owner. But while in England in the years preceding the Revolution, Franklin "found himself trying to defend America against charges of hypocrisy." He had freed his slaves, observed "firsthand 'the natural capacities of the black race,' " and then, after ratification of the Constitution, he petitioned Congress on the subject of slavery:

"Noting Congress had been created to 'promulgate the welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to the People of the United States,' he argued that this should be done 'without distinction of color,' since all people are created by the 'same Almighty Being, alike the objects of his care and equally designed for the enjoyment of happiness.' To tolerate less, Franklin argued, 'was to contradict the meaning of the Revolution.' "

If only Ben could have hung around for another decade in order to persuade the new nation of this argument, we might have had him to thank for the success of one more of his great ideas.

But thanks to the fine work of Candace Fleming, we at least have a thoroughly satisfying "true account of the good gentleman's life," as well as one more important piece of ammunition in my argument that a real love and understanding of American history will much more readily come from trade books of this caliber than from standardized textbooks. ... Read more

38. Benjamin Franklin: A Life Well Lived (American History Through Primary Sources)
by Leni Donlan
Paperback: 32 Pages (2007-10-15)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1410927091
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Find out about one of our most-loved Founding Fathers. Among his many talents, Franklin was a writer, philosopher, and scientist. Find out about some of his many inventions and learn about his early days working at his brother’s print shop. Franklin accomp

... Read more

39. Benjamin Franklin's the Way to Wealth
by Benjamin Franklin
Hardcover: 93 Pages (2010-09)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.40
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Asin: 0979152305
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
-Benjamin Franklin

Originally published in 1758, Benjamin Franklin's The Way to Wealth gave our country a financial philosophy that has made millions of people wealthy, prosperous and successful. Updated for today's modern economy, Franklin's time-tested secrets to wealth and success are more important to know today than at any time in our history. A wealthy gentleman named Mr. Abraham will be your guide as you learn the secrets to prosperity, success, and financial security.

This special edition contains BOTH the original edition and the new, modern edition updated and revised for today's economy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Franklin's The Way to Wealth
Common sense, good advice for any age.Young people would benefit from reading it and I will present it to my grandson on his 20th birthday.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Little Book
Jack Vincent has taken Benjamin Franklin's tiny little book, published in 1758, in a number of different languages with millions of copies sold, and turned it into a book that in our modern world, over 250 years later, is just as powerful and relevant to us today.Jack has retained all of the structure and integrity of the book but placed it into today's surroundings in such a seamless fashion that it is only upon reflection that it becomes obvious how it has been adjusted to make sense today. Thank you Jack for making this work so accessible for us today, for it is the wisdom embedded within the book that is important, rather than our getting hung up on the differences between how we use language today rather than how it was used in the past. There is much of value in this tiny book, so my suggestion is to keep it by your bed and read it daily.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a winner
This book is a"winner".It's advice is practical for all ages.After reading the book myself, I bought one for each of my kids to teach them how to manage their finances and gain wealth. In my opinion this book should be required reading for all high school students. Get it,you won't be sorry!

5-0 out of 5 stars Exactly What I Needed to Hear!!
This rewrite of Benjamin Franklin's how-to get rich book is perfect especially in today's recession economy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid Advice
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3ABFCIW2ZQMXO ... Read more

40. The Way to Wealth
by Benjamin Franklin
Paperback: 50 Pages (2010-08-02)
list price: US$7.94 -- used & new: US$7.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1453744746
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Statesman, scientist, entrepreneur, inventor . . . Benjamin Franklin is synonymous with American ingenuity and achievement. It's no coincidence that his face is on the hundred dollar bill. In "The Way to Wealth," Franklin reveals--through his wise and witty sayings--the fundamental principles for a prosperous life. Originally published in the 1757 Poor Richard's Almanac, this work was America's first financial advice book. Widely read throughout the Colonies, Franklin's wisdom guided our nation during the Founding era--and it is just as relevant today. This beautifully-designed volume also includes Franklin's other writings on success, "Advice to a Young Worker" and "The Path of Virtue." Visit www.bestsuccessbooks.net to view our other new, inexpensive editions of the greatest success books of all time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (37)

2-0 out of 5 stars Just Be Tight Wad and Wear Old Garments.
There is not much to the book.

Don't go into debt.
Work Everyday.
Save your money.
Stay away from the Jones.

O yea when you need a new jacket...wait another year to buy it.

15 minute read I wish I had save the 3 dollars the book cost.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not the actualbook
The book was actually not the one I wanted. It is the same title from the same author but did not contain the material that was supposed to be the book content.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Advice; Hardly a Book worthy of Ben Franklin

Had brevity been among Franklin's chief virtues, he would have indubitably been pleased with this work.The Way to Wealth accounts for approximately fifteen minutes of reading from cover to cover.Franklin's celebrated wisdom shall never diminish, yet this book merely accounts for a tiny element of Franklin's true sentiment.

Among the good points, Franklin illustrates the amusement found in those who complain of the hindrance of taxes when idleness takes a far bigger piece of productivity.He stresses the importance of controlling your vices, watching expenses, and avoiding all forms of personal debt.

As this was merely a segment from one of Franklin's Almanacs, it was clearly never intended as a full book.I recommend passing on this and seeking out some of the superior books on Franklin's principles such as "Benjamin Franklin's: The Art of Virtue" which covers significantly more thoughts from Franklin including the entirety of this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Short but Powerful.
This book is a short story that gives you numerous practical tidbits that lead you to wealth. I really liked the presentation style and enjoyed reading this book. My only complaint was the length, I wish it was longer. The book was done before I realized it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Gift for Anyone Going Into Business
Note: Amazon has grouped together reviews of several different editions of this book; this review is for The Way to Wealth (Little Books of Wisdom).

This essay, arguably the first American business book, was first published in 1758 as the preface to that year's edition of "Poor Richard's Almanack", compiling a quarter century's worth of Franklin's adages and advice that had been scattered throughout the previous editions.

As Benjamin Franklin later put it: "And observing that it was generally read, (scarce any neighborhood in the province being without it,) I considered it as a proper vehicle for conveying instruction among the common people, who bought Scarcely any other books. I therefore filled all the little spaces, that occurred between the remarkable days in the Calendar, with proverbial sentences, chiefly such as inculcated industry and frugality, as the means of procuring wealth, and thereby securing virtue; it being more difficult for a man in want to act always honestly, as (to use here one of those proverbs) It is hard for an empty sack to stand upright."

Though over a quarter of a millennium old, these most famous of Franklin's quotes have stood the test of time and are as relevant today as they ever were.Framed in the form of a speech by the fictitious "father Abraham" given in response to a solicitation of his advice regarding the then bad economic times and heavy taxes, it amounts to a rebuke of them for their own actions that are worse than the taxes they are complaining about: "We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly."The remainder is arranged topically into four different sections.

The first is herein referred to as "Industry" i.e. hard work, the opposite of laziness.In today's entertainment filled world this is a harder sell than ever, but every bit as necessary.Of course this doesn't mean work yourself to death in a life of never ending drudgery, but it does mean to be aware of all these little time wasters and to ration them carefully.

The second is herein referred to as "Care" i.e. mind your own business, literally.This is arguably the toughest sell of all in today's widely flung enterprises too vast for any one person to personally oversee, but the concept still has merit.You are still your own most trusted employee, the one you should turn to when the situation demands.The problem with micromanaging is usually not the micromanaging itself, but rather the micromanaging of the unimportant while the more important gets delegated or ignored.President Carter famously micromanaged usage of the White House tennis courts while his economic and foreign policies went to Hell in a hand basket.

The third is herein referred to as "Frugality" i.e. mind your spending, and not surprisingly takes up the most space.This is the easiest sell but the hardest to put into practice.Of course this doesn't mean to never spend a penny on yourself but rather to carefully monitor that spending.If certain expenditures are absolutely essential to your happiness and wellbeing, that's perfectly fine, but you should then be all the more willing to ruthlessly root out the nonessential expenditures.

The last is herein referred to as "Knowledge" i.e. learn something from all of this.Good advice not applied is useless.

It makes for interesting comparison and contrast with B. C. Forbes' more recent collection of business maxims available from the same publisher: Teamwork, Stick-To-Itiveness, Opportunity, & You.

Note: Some reviewers have complained that this book is available online for free.Well, yes, what part of in the public domain do you not understand?However, trying to get away with giving someone a printout as a gift will earn you the nickname of cheapskate.If all you want to do is read it yourself, then by all means stick to the free sites.However, if you are looking for a way to get through to someone else, you are better off buying a copy, and a solitary sawbuck for this sturdy pocket-sized reprint is going to be tough to beat.The chief virtue of it being online is your ability to read it first and make sure that this is the book you want to give before ordering it.

Note: Applewood Books has produced a nice looking inexpensive series of sturdy pocket-sized reprints of important American books, documents, speeches, pamphlets, and poems, the Little Books of Wisdom, uniform with this volume, that are ideal for gifting to doctors, lawyers, teachers, business professionals, and students of same: George Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, The Constitution of the United States of America, On the Art of Teaching, The Poems of Abraham Lincoln, The Strenuous Life, The Bill of Rights with Writings That Formed Its Foundation, The Path of the Law, The Constitution of the Confederate States of America, The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, A Message to Garcia, A Declaration of Sentiments, Robert's Rules of Order, Good Citizenship, On Being Human, A Discourse Upon the Duties of a Physician, The Declaration of Independence with Short Biographies of Its Signers, The Wants of Man, George Washington's Farewell Address, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Speech of Chief Seattle, Common Sense, The Articles of Confederation, The Emancipation Proclamation, and The Gospel of Wealth.

Some selected volumes are also available in boxed sets: Books of American Wisdom Boxed Set, CEO's Gift Box of Wisdom, Doctor's Gift Box of Wisdom, Lawyer's Gift Box of Wisdom, New Citizen's Gift Box of Wisdom, and Teacher's Gift Box of Wisdom.

And some have been published in Spanish: Un Mensaje a Garcia and Constitucion de Los Estados Unidos. ... Read more

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