An investment in knowledge pays the best interest – Benjamin Franklin
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin is justly coined the first “How to Succeed” book. Written as an extended letter to his son, his autobiography is packed with eternal pearls of wisdom. His unique writing style finds a perfect match in describing his extraordinary life. Coming up from a poor family, Benjamin Franklin finds his way all the way to the governor of Pennsylvania. This is not through manipulation and coercion but through sheer virtue and morality. Reading this autobiography is as relevant today as it was more than 200 years ago.
Each one of the chapters is devoted to a certain life event (or period). In his younger years, you are left with the image of a frugal individual that has been granted opportunities well before the normal age people are expected to perform them. He starts his career as a printer and works very hard to be better than the other printers and papers that are out there. During his early years, he also starts working on becoming a moral person. From his daily study (one hour in the morning) he finds the time to define and execute 13 moral principles.
After that, Benjamin Franklin starts to travel the world. His conscientious work-style soon leads him to financial success. He later manages multiple printing houses and is able to let them run individually and independently. His attention is soon turned toward public service. In his lifetime he founded a library, a society for improving thought, and a university (among others). In his public service, he then proceeds to politics. With his humble conviction, he is able to convert even his most distinct opposition.
By now he has done more in a lifetime than the combination of any 10 ordinary men. But Benjamin Franklin also has an interest in science and conducts multiple electrical experiments. From his experiments, he gains international fame. Not much money follows, his Franklin Stove (used up to this day) is released without patent and is promptly given to the general public. In his life, Benjamin Franklin has now been a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. Through all these different roles he has stayed the same man. He does not speak much about his family but has been a devoted husband and respectable father to his children. Nowhere is there pride to be spotted among the lines, he just states the facts as they are. It is impressive to see what significance a book of so long ago can have.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin – Benjamin Franklin – ISBN-10: 0486290735| ISBN-13: 978-0486290737
More on Benjamin Franklin:
https://librivox.org/the-autobigraphy-of-benjamin-franklin-ed-by-frank-woodworth-pine/ – Audiobook
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/Franklin/toc.html – Online Book
http://www.gutenberg.org/author/Benjamin+Franklin – More Works by Benjamin Franklin