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Benjamin Franklin an American Life by Walter Isaacson

Benjamin Franklin was one of the most important and influential figures in American history. He was a leading author, printer, politician, diplomat, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist. His many accomplishments helped to shape the United States into the great nation it is today.

The “American Dream” that we all aspire to achieve is based on the ideals that Benjamin Franklin stood for: hard work, determination, and self-improvement.

In Walter Isaacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin, he paints a portrait of a man who was not only one of the most influential founding fathers of the United States, but also a renowned scientist, inventor, and diplomat. Franklin was a self-made man who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most respected men in America. He was known for his wit and wisdom, and his ability to get along with people from all walks of life.

He was a true Renaissance man, and his impact on American history is immeasurable.

Benjamin Franklin an American Life   by Walter Isaacson

Credit: biblio.co.uk

What is the Main Purpose of Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin?

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is the traditional name for the unfinished record of his life written by Franklin from 1771 to 1790; however, Franklin himself appears to have called the work his Memoirs. Although it had originally been intended as a private affair, descendant Henry Stevens found the manuscript while in England during 1818 and 1820, and persuaded William Temple Franklin (Franklin’s grandson and literary executor) to edit and publish it. The first edition appeared in France in March 1791, before appearing in London in January 1793.

In America, it was published serially through The Pennsylvania Packet beginning on July 26, 1775, before being collected into book form and published by David Hall & Son in Philadelphia on March 9, 1791. The work consists of three parts: “Part One: Childhood,” “Part Two: Quest for Fame,” and “Part Three: Retirement.” In Part One, which covers Franklin’s childhood up until 1700 (when he was about 24 years old), Franklin tells us about his family background; his formal education; apprenticeships with his brother James (a printer) and with Chadwick & Andrews (a Boston merchant house); marriage to Deborah Read; starting a family; and moving to Philadelphia.

In Part Two, which extends from 1700 to about1731 (when he was about 45 years old), we learn how he rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most famous men in colonial America. He started out as a typesetter/printer’s apprentice but quickly became a successful printer in Philadelphia. He also became involved in public affairs, serving as clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly (1736-1751) and as a member of the Second Continental Congress (1775-1776).

Along the way he helped found several important institutions including the Library Company of Philadelphia (the first subscription library in America), the American Philosophical Society, insurance companies, fire companies, hospitals, and academies. He also served as Postmaster General under both Colonial Governor John Penn (1699-1746) and British Governor Sir William Keith (1680-1749). In Part Three we find out about Franklin’s later years when he retired from printing at age 42 to focus on science and public service.

He made many important discoveries in electricity including that lightning is electrical discharge.

What is the Best Version of the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin?

The best version of the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin would be the one that was written by Franklin himself. This version would be more accurate and detailed than any other versions that have been written about him. Franklin’s autobiography is considered to be one of the most important American autobiographies ever written, so it is definitely worth reading in its entirety.

Walter Isaacson: "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life"

The Way to Wealth

The Way to Wealth is an essay written by Benjamin Franklin in 1758. It is a collection of maxims and advice on how to live frugally and prosperously. Franklin begins the essay with the famous phrase “There are no gains without pains.”

He then proceeds to advise the reader on how to be thrifty, honest, hard-working, and persevering – all virtues that he himself embodied. He advocates for simple living, but also acknowledges that some people will always want more than they need. “If you would be wealthy,” he writes, “think of saving as well as getting.”

In other words, one should focus on earning money, but also on spending less. Franklin offers many pieces of advice throughout the essay, but his overarching message is that if one follows these guidelines, they will be successful in life. He urges the reader to take this advice to heart, because it is based on his own experience and wisdom.

This timeless essay is still relevant today – over 250 years after it was first published. Anyone looking for guidance on how to live a prosperous life would do well to heed Franklin’s advice.

Conclusion

In Walter Isaacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin, he tells the story of America’s most influential founding father. Franklin was a man of many talents and accomplishments. He was a printer, publisher, inventor, scientist, diplomat, and statesman.

He played a pivotal role in the American Revolution and helped to draft the Declaration of Independence. He also negotiated an important treaty with France during the Revolutionary War. In addition to his political achievements, Franklin was also a leading figure in the fields of science and technology.

He invented the lightning rod and bifocals, and he discovered electricity. He also founded several institutions including the Library Company of Philadelphia and the American Philosophical Society.

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