The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Narrated by: Qarie Marshall
Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (958 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Left unfinished at the time of his death, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin has endured as one of the most well-known and influential autobiographies ever written. From his early years in Boston and Philadelphia to the publication of his Poor Richard's Almanac to the American Revolution and beyond, Franklin's autobiography is a fascinating, personal exploration into the life of America's most interesting founding father.

Public Domain (P)2015 Dreamscape Media, LLC
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    2 out of 5 stars
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Egregious omission of important passage.

I was appalled by the glaring omission of the single most character-revealing sentence in this classic work. Had the narrator chosen to read the text as it appears in every legitimate print edition, the following sentence would have been heard in Chapter 8 of this audio book. "In the mean time, that hard-to-be-governed passion of youth had hurried me frequently into intrigues with low women that fell in my way, which were attended with some expense and great inconvenience, besides a continual risk to my health by a distemper, which of all things I dreaded, though by great good luck I escaped it."

Historians and biographers have discussed Franklin's sexual exploits at length in other works. Here, in his own words, Franklin voluntarily shines a light on this aspect of his character. I cannot imagine why any editor or narrator would choose to omit this passage from an audio version that purports to be an accurate portrayal of the original written work. It seems as if they want to turn the book into a children's story in which Franklin is portrayed as a choir boy.

To the modern reader/listener, parts of Franklin's autobiography are dull and boring at best. To edit out one of the most interesting and informative parts in an effort to sanitize it is totally irresponsible.

45 people found this helpful

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Probably Not What You're Expecting

I was interested in reading a book about Benjamin Franklin's life and contributions. I chose the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin because the Walter Isaacson biography is an absolute whopper - 24 hours, 45 minutes in audio. The autobiography is only 6 hours, 35 minutes.

The problem is that, counter to my expectation, Franklin barely did speak about some of his greatest feats. Turns out he died without having finished the autobiography, leaving some of the most significant parts of his life unwritten - such as his role in the founding of the United States of America. Instead, the book's focus is mostly spent on Franklin's formative years and experiences.

If you are looking for insight into the self-perceived development of Benjamin Franklin - how he grew into the person he became - you will gain a good deal from this book.

If you are looking for a historical account of Benjamin Franklin's life and contributions - as I was - then this book likely won't satisfy.

31 people found this helpful

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I'm going to listen to this again!

I loved the narrator, very well done. I enjoyed this rendition from beginning to end.

8 people found this helpful

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an excellent listen

the dated language forces you to listen carefully oh, but it is well worth the effort. Benjamin Franklin I was truly an amazing man and a fascinating person to read about.

2 people found this helpful

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More would have been wonderful but

I really enjoyed the book as there was a lot about Franklin i didn't know before, it i understood, however that there's a lot more about this man that was not in included here. For me it just means I need to read more about this interesting man.

2 people found this helpful

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Ben Franklin, in his own words

This book was a very quick read (listen). I actually listened to it, as a supplement after reading Walter Isaacson‘s biography of Franklin.

Isaacson suggests that many influential people have cited Franklin’s autobiography as having changed their lives. He further notes that Dale Carnegie and Scott Covey base many of their self-help “principles” on those attributed to Franklin and “Poor Richard.” Indeed that comes through quite clearly in this book.

If you are looking for a comprehensive history of Ben Franklin‘s life I would start with Isaacson‘s book, as I did. However, I wouldn’t skip this autobiography as it provides an interesting perspective once you know the greater historical context.

2 people found this helpful

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AMAZING, All Development books reference this.

A Sack that is empty has a hard time standing on it's own accord. B. Franklin

2 people found this helpful

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Hard to understand for a non native speaker.

The book is revealing many personal thoughts of Franklin that are really interesting to be heard today.

2 people found this helpful

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Get transporter to a different century

I loved the language of the book. The way words are strung together transports you to a different era. There is a lot to learn from this book not just about the life of Ben Franklin but also about life and industry in general.

1 person found this helpful

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Great to know from author's own perspective!

It is great to read autobiography! Because, the author is the most person who know himself and what he experienced and how he learned. It is very interesting story to listen. It is great to know how a young man loves reading and goes through a lot of struggling to settle down in a new place far from home at age 17. It is great to know and learn the 13 morals which can be a guide for life principles.

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  • Silviu Blajut
  • 11-04-18

A must read

The knowledge Benjamin is putting on the table is amazing. if people would have a mindset like his then greater things in world would be.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alex Bryant
  • 11-21-18

Interesting insight into this historic figure

I enjoyed getting an insight into the times, behaviours and characters of the era, and to understand the volume of things Benjamin Franklin was involved in

1 person found this helpful

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  • Collete Stubbs
  • 09-22-18

Interesting ...

Enjoyed it.....would also liked to learned more of his family life and more of his struggles.

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  • Marita
  • 12-13-18

A classic

Well worth reading. Couldn't fault it and feel better for the experience. A role model down the ages.

1 person found this helpful

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  • george
  • 04-30-17

the linguistics are sensational<br />

the wording is like smooth talk to me if it's definitely work any young man to listen to this many many times

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  • Roshan R.
  • 11-24-19

Snorning

If you want to waste your time reading about a boring old fat white guy that had zero obstacles this is the book for you