A Benjamin Franklin Reader

A Benjamin Franklin Reader

Book - 2003
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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.As a twelve-year-old apprentice in his brother's print shop, Benjamin Franklin taught himself to be a writer by taking notes on the works of great essayists such as Addison and Steele, jumbling them up, and then trying to recreate them in his own words. By that method, he recalled in his Autobiography, he was encouraged to think he might become a "tolerable" writer. In fact, he became the best, most popular, and most influential writer in colonial America. His direct and practical prose shaped America's democratic character, and his homespun humor gave birth to the nation's unique brand of crackerbarrel wisdom.This book collects dozens of Franklin's delight-ful essays and letters, along with a complete version of his Autobiography. It 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. Through the writings and the introductory essays, the reader can trace the development of Franklin's thinking, along with the birth of the nation he and his pen helped to invent.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2003
ISBN: 9780743257824
0743257820
Branch Call Number: 973.3 F854a3 2003
Characteristics: xv, 551 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Isaacson, Walter

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AaronAardvark1940
May 15, 2018

Although this book is lengthy, it reflects only a fraction of Franklin's writings. The editor, who has also written a biography of Franklin, offers brief comments to provide context for the selections, all of which are presented in chronological order. The selections show a man with broad interests and with carefully thought out guiding principles. The accomplishments of this autodidact are remarkable, and I have even greater respect for this Founding Father.

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