The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Posted on by Elliot Jackson

“It is in youth that we plant our chief habits and prejudices; it is in youth that we take our party as to profession, pursuits and matrimony. In youth, therefore, the turn is given; in youth the education even of the next generation is given; in youth the private and public character is determined; and the term of life extending but from youth to age, life ought to begin well from youth, and more especially before we take our party as to our principal objects.”

The first part of this book is a lovely letter from Benjamin Franklin to his son. It tells the story of an averagely-born (yet driven and determined) young man who came from very little to go on and accomplish great things in later life.

The second part of the book however was a huge letdown. Franklin started writing it some years after the original letter due to the outbreak of war. No longer being in the form of a letter, I found it to be averagely written and far too self-congratulatory for my taste. Whilst Franklin accomplished many undeniably-great things in his lifetime, that sort of writing doesn't make for pleasant reading.

I would recommend the letter to anyone who is either looking for a fairly quick yet very inspirational read or who is interested in business and entrepreneurship. Whatever your interest, I really wouldn't bother with the second part though. ★★★☆☆

Posted in Books