The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Book Summary

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Overview
Main Characters
Benjamin Franklin, a founder of the United States, recounts his own life story—from humble beginnings to world recognition for his books and inventions. He was a leading citizen of Philadelphia and representative of the colonies to England before the American Revolution even started.
Boston
Growing up, Franklin learns printing from his brother James.
Philadelphia
Franklin becomes a successful printer and inventor and a leading member of society.
London
Franklin unsuccessfully represents the colonies to Parliament and the king.
Benjamin Franklin
Hardworking, playful leader in control of his image; combined inspiration, curiosity, dedication, pride, and ambition in confusing ways
James Franklin
Franklin's older brother, for whom Franklin worked as a printer's apprentice
William Franklin
Franklin's illegitimate son, the Royal Governor of New Jersey; stopped speaking to Franklin when the Revolution began
Themes
Self-Improvement
Public Spirit
Scientific Inquiry
People should constantly work to better themselves.
People should try to improve the lives of those around them.
Science and study can change the world.
Author
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
1706-90
Franklin, a scientist, inventor, author, and diplomat, invented everything from lightning rods to bifocal glasses. He contributed to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and spent many years abroad as an ambassador. Like much of his writing, his autobiography is famous for its wit and wisdom.
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