The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin Book Review

An examination of Benjamin Franklin's life and times in his own words
# 151969 | 1,233 words | 1 source | APA | 2010 | US
Published on Oct 31, 2012 in English (Narrative) , History (General) , English (Biography)

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This paper examines the various facets of Franklin's history and life as documented in his autobiography, explaining how several stories about his life are motivational and address the theme of personal improvement. Other sections touch on subjects such as religion, self-improvement and frugality.

From the Paper:

"Is Franklin successful in his quest to inspire and motivate others to successfully gain self-improvement? Through a close reading of the book, the author successfully mixes stories regarding his own life and experiences as a way to teach and inspire others. His personal desire and struggle to improve himself help to encourage the reader to pursue their own betterment throughout their own lives. Even if his advice proves to be boastful or conceited in its voice and approach, Franklin is still capable of showing examples of his own mistakes and how each person can work toward a happy and successful life. Franklin understands how the reader may judge his work: "I shall indulge the inclination so natural in old men, to be talking of themselves and their own past actions" (1). Regardless of his personal ego, his desire to help others shows Franklin's selfless intentions to share and teach others.
"What motivated Franklin to pursue his own level of success, as well as encourage others to work hard for their own personal improvement? The book opens with Franklin's concern for his own betterment throughout his life and his desire to share these stories with the reader. Franklin also shares that because his son may want to know about his father's life, it is Franklin's desire to put these stories in book form as a way to pass them on to the next generation. Franklin has a keen love for life and regrets that he cannot repeat the experience. His primary motivation is to share his own triumphs and trials so that his son will not make the same mistakes and learn through Franklin's examples. He understands that vanity and the desire to boast, however, is a part of human nature. He even confesses that "It would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity, among other comforts of life" (1). Despite his desire for self-betterment, Franklin is clearly comfortable in his own skin and accepts the very human characteristics we all share."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin 1706-1757. Bedford, Massachusetts: Applewood Books, 2008. Print.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (2012, October 31) Retrieved August 09, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin" 31 October 2012. Web. 09 August. 2020. <>