REVIEW OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: A BIOGRAPHY IN HIS OWN WORDS
When Benjamin Frankilin was 22 years old, in 1728, he wrote his own epitaph: "The body of Benjamin Franklin, Printer (like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding), lies here, food for worms; but the work shall not be lost, for it will (as he believed) appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author" (Bartletts 117). Clearly, he has not been forgotten. Benjamin Franklin is in fact one of the most famous names in American History. He was born in Boston in 1706 and when he was 17, moved to Philadelphia to work as a printer. In the course of his life he was a statesman, printer, publisher, scientist, writer, and one of the Founding Fathers of America.
His reputation in Philadelphia grew because of his wit and commonsense philosophy, especially as expressed in Poor Richard's Almanack. Also interested in science, Franklin is credited with a famous experiment which proved the presence of electricity in lightning -- he flew a kite in a thunderstorm to test his theory. Dedicated to expanding human knowledge in all areas, in 1751 he helped establish the present University of Pennsylvania. During this time he also served as deputy postmaster general of the colonies (from 1753 to 1774).
Also while serving as postmaster general, Franklin proposed a plan of union for the colonies at the Albany Congress in 1754. He helped draft the Declaration of Independence which he signed. During the American Revolution he was a successful American agent in France and was appointed as a commissioner to negotiate the peace with Britain.
The main concept behind this book is that since Benjamin Franklin never finished his autobiography, the "biographical" technique would be used with one major modification; instead of a constant third-person narrative which is the standard biographical appr...