The Autobiography and Other Writings (Mass Market Paperbound)
Signet Book, 9780451528100, 352pp.
Publication Date: September 4, 2001
Other Editions of This Title:
Mass Market (8/5/2014)
Mass Market (4/1/1982)
* Individual store prices may vary.
One of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, Benjamin Franklin was a true Renaissance Man: writer, publisher, scientist, inventor, diplomat and politician. In his long life of eighty-four years, he offered advice on attaining wealth, organized public institutions, contributed to the birth of a nation, and negotiated with foreign powers to ensure its survival.
Through the words of the elder statesman himself, The Autobiography and Other Writings presents a remarkable insight into the man and his accomplishments and additional writings from Benjamin Franklin’s wife and son provide a more intimate portrait of the husband and father who found himself a legend in his own time.
About the Author
Benjamin Franklin, statesman, philosopher, and man of letters, was born in Boston in 1706 of Protestant parents. He entered Boston Grammar School when he was eight and later attended George Brown Ell's school. When he was twelve his father apprenticed him to his half-brother James as a printer. James was later the publisher of the New England Courant, where Franklin's first articles, The Dogood Papers, were published before he was seventeen. He went to Philadelphia in 1723 and pursued his trade of printer. He was befriended by William Keith, Governor of Pennsylvania, who offered to help the young man get started in business. Franklin left for England, where he hoped to arrange for the purchase of printing equipment. Arriving in London in 1724, he was soon deserted by Keith, and again turned to printing for a livelihood. His privately printed Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain (1725) introduced him to leading Deists and other intellectuals in London. A year later, he returned to Philadelphia, and by 1730 he had been appointed public printer for Pennsylvania. In 1731 he established the first circulation library in the United States; in 1743-44, The American Philosophical Society. In 1748 he retired from the trade of printer but continued to advise and back his partner and to draw profit from the business. Poor Richard's Almanack was his most spectacular success as a publisher, having gone through numerous editions and been translated in many languages. During the next thirty-five years he devoted himself largely to politics and diplomacy, but still wrote and engaged in scientific ventures. He resigned as Minister to France in 1785, returned to America, and was elected President of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Still concerned with the rights of the individual, he published papers encouraging the abolition of slavery. He died in Philadelphia in 1790.