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Benjamin Franklin Books


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was an American writer, printer, statesman, and inventor. He was elected to the Second Continental Congress, and he helped to draft the Declaration of Independence. He's known for The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and Poor Richard's Almanack. Read more about the life and works of Benjamin Franklin.

1. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

by Walter Isaacson. Simon & Schuster. From the publisher: "In this engaging biography, journalist Walter Isaacson captures the gregarious essence of Benjamin Franklin, the Founding Father who has earned a special place in the pantheon of American patriots by dint of sheer approachability."
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2. Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography

by J. A. Leo Lemay (Editor), and P. M. Zall (Editor). From the publisher: "Franklin’s Autobiography is the only enduring best-seller written in America before the nineteenth century, as well as the most popular autobiography ever written... The text is fully annotated, and the reading is assisted by helpful footnotes, biographical sketches, and two maps."
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3. A Benjamin Franklin Reader

by Walter Isaacson (Editor), Benjamin Franklin. Simon & Schuster. From the publisher: "This book collects dozens of Franklin's best, most influential and delightful 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."

4. Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery, and the American Revolution

by David Waldstreicher. Hill and Wang. From the publisher: "Finding slavery at the center of Franklin's life, Waldstreicher proves it was likewise central to the Revolution, America's founding, and the very notion of freedom we associate with both. Franklin was the sole Founding Father who was once owned by someone else."
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5. The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin

by Gordon S. Wood. Penguin. Gordon Wood writes: "Central to America's idea of itself is the character of Benjamin Franklin. We all know him, or think we do: in recent works and in our inherited conventional wisdom, he remains fixed in place as a genial polymath and self-improver who was so very American that he is known by us all as 'the first American.'"
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