Franklin’s Autobiography is an important piece of American history and addition to the great conversation. I highly recommend it!
Although the book is lacking in some respects, mainly his reminiscences of participating in more notable historical events around the American Revolution, I believe it deserves five stars because of the weight it holds in history and it’s subtle brilliance for those who listen.
One of the things I love about Franklin is his consistent industriousness and never slothfulness. In the appendix of my version he speaks clearly of the danger of sloth: “Sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears”.
His thoughtfulness and industriousness consistently led to breakthrough. He invented a better type of wood burning furnace and a better street lamp. He started a university and the idea of having a fire department. He started a library so that more people could have access to books because of their expense at the time.
One thing that many people can learn from Franklin is his determination and persistence in becoming a better writer and communicator. This skill served him all his life and brought him to places that would have never been possible. His business in printing led him to his newspaper and the newspaper led him to connections beyond his possible day to day reach. Learning this skill didn’t pay off immediately for him, but brought unsuspected dividends down the road.
Just read this book, please!