Benjamin Franklin Autobiography Review

11 November 2016

At the young age of seventeen he had moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after a fight with his brother James, which caused young Franklin to have to leave Boston in order to find work. In Philadelphia he met a printer named Andrew Bradford who couldn’t have him work for him but could provide housing for him in this new and foreign city. Bradford also introduces Franklin to a man named Keimer who is a printer and has work for him. However, Franklin becomes popular in this new city he’d traveled to and moves in with a man named John Read.

While living in Philadelphia Franklin’s brother-in-law writes to him and when Franklin responds his brother-in-law he shows Franklin’s response letter to the Governor of Pennsylvania, William Keith who is extremely impressed with Franklin’s ability to write. Keith offers to help Franklin start his own publishing house but first Franklin wants to travel to London. He became very successful in his writing and printing in London and made a decent amount of money but soon he realized he needed to go back to Philadelphia.

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When returning home Franklin learns Keith is no longer a governor and is just an ordinary citizen and he continues to work for Keimer and eventually takes over Keimer’s printing house with a plan to start a newspaper using all of the printing supplies he had from London. Franklin was always interested in meeting new people. When Keimer moves to New Jersey for work, Franklin joins him for that very reason. At this time he forms the Junto, which is a group that discusses morality and philosophy. Franklin marries John Read’s daughter, and starts a library.

He begins becoming more interested in politics and making the society a better place. At this time in his life, Franklin lost one of his son’s at a very young age. In the early 1740’s Franklin begins inventing common things we use today. He publishes many of his own pieces of writing, and they are all very successful. Towards the end of the autobiography however, Franklin stops writing about all his accomplishments and events in his life. He seems to be more focused on his thoughts and ideas about society, religion, and it seems to be condescending.

I have mixed feelings about Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography and Other Writings because I feel as if he started out to be such an intellectual and one of America’s most well know thinkers of all time and somehow evolved into a somewhat bitter person. It may be silly to compare to but in my mind I think of when that really new, young, popular celebrity is on the rise and everyone just fawns over them they soon either take up strange religion’s, they have different beliefs, and they aren’t as down to earth as they were when they became very popular.

Somehow I believe Franklin was like that in some way. “American hero” with a lot of troubled thoughts and complex ideas is what comes to mind when I think of Benjamin Franklin now. All in all Benjamin Franklin helped shape The United States of America in the eighteenth century and even today in the twenty-first century. He is a pioneer of early American History and this book is hands down a perfect read for an American History course in college because it shows the way our country was in the 1700’s and even how everything is worded gives a good outlook on the culture of early America.

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