Book Review: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

To allow someone like me to review this book may be somewhat of a mistake. I cannot appreciate the literature and writing style. That is my disclaimer- now, on to other thoughts.

This book is an interesting look at one of the founding fathers of our great nation. If you know nothing about Ben Franklin then you have been living under a rock. The stuff you find in this book though is not going to be the stuff you usually read about. Some of it is interesting and some of isn’t. Some of it was written with much thought and some is just dry and describing a step-by-step account of what was happening.

Here are the things I liked: His ideas on virtue were interesting. There was suppose to be a different book but when he wrote the second half of this he knew he never would get around to it. How he made his money and went from being poor to rich was also something to acknowledge. These men where the American Dream, which is the Capitalistic dream too. The last thing was he was obviously an innovator and I enjoyed this quote:

“That is as we enjoy great Advantages from the Inventions of others, we should be glad an Opportunity to serve others by any Invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.”

Franklin was against patents it seems. One time he was offered one from the Governor and said no. He wanted people to innovate beyond his innovation. This is important and is an issue still today. Will people innovate without patents?

I also enjoyed the part where Franklin got the community together to pay the poor to sweep the steps of the businesses and housing. This is mutually beneficial trade, while being a public good without government coercion. This helped the business owners because dust would get in their shops and drive customers away. It would get the homeowners shoes dirty when he left for work in the morning and the people that did it didn’t have jobs before now they do.

The bad stuff in the book was that sometimes it was dry and didn’t give you a wide view of what was going through Ben Franklin’s mind. There was also no Revolutionary War material which would have been nice to see what his exact thoughts were.

I do not feel like it is appropriate for me to give it a rating but let’s just say I was very disappointed.


Published in: on September 16, 2008 at 6:20 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Benjamin Franklin had a remarkable impact in so many ways, even when he was sometimes dry. A Benjamin Franklin article just received the ‘Top 100 Electricity Blogs’ Award

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