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Autobiography (Norton Critical Editions) Paperback – 19 Mar 1986

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.; annotated edition edition (19 Mar. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393952940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393952940
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.3 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,438,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived on time. One page from the index was missing and two were printed at an angle and not cut correctly. The book was a present that was needed for research so a missing index page was a problem. The suppliers did not have another copy in stock so a refund was given and as a gesture of goodwill they said I could keep the book. More a problem with the publishers rather than the suppliers so a 2 star rating is perhaps a bit harsh but the item was faulty.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent thanks
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8d7b90fc) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cce1b40) out of 5 stars An outstanding edition of a classic American text 11 Aug. 2000
By Robert James - Published on
Format: Paperback
Anyone who has ever taken a literature class in college knows the Norton Critical Editions: an absolutely first-rate version of the text, a healthy supply of contemporary responses and letters, and the best essays yet written about the text. This edition of Benjamin Franklin's "Autobiography" is no exception. The quintessential American Enlightenment figure, Franklin is far more complex than most people think, and far funnier. When it came time to write the Declaration of Independence, the Congress wouldn't give it to Franklin alone, in large part because they were afraid he'd hide a joke in it. One of his most infamous pieces of writing was under the guise of a prostitute being brought before the court for having yet another illegitimate child -- and then attacking the court for making it necessary for her to pursue her profession! And the letter Franklin wrote his own illegitimate son about how to keep a mistress is a classic in and of itself. The only great flaw in the autobiography is that it stops before Franklin ever reaches the Revolutionary War, and thus we don't have the inside story of that perilous time. But anybody wanting to understand Franklin's life, the means to wealth, or the evolution of a brilliant mind will love this text. It's mandatory reading for every American, in my mind.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cce1b94) out of 5 stars Poor Richard's Rich Insights 13 Jan. 2000
By Dave Helms - Published on
Format: Paperback
How many books have you read that you remember thirty-six years later? Ben Franklin's insights into principles of self-improvement, and his love for the adventure of life were not only inspiring to me when I discovered his autobiography in the Holmesburg Library in Philadelphia at age 14, but they still remain motivational for me at age 50! Ben Franklin was the Dale Carnegie of his age. He realized that by following basic core value principles, and by constant practice in the adventure of life, he could not only creatively change himself, but he could positively impact those around him as well. Ben Franklin led a purposeful, creative life. I am thankful that he had the foresight to pass his exhuberance along to us in this his autobiography. It was fun to read. I think I'll read it again. Thanks, Ben.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d3f98f4) out of 5 stars An outstanding Norton Critical Edition 6 Oct. 2007
By Bruce Oksol - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for "the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin," this is the volume to get. It is a Norton Critical Edition, perhaps the gold standard of anthologies, and it is edited by Lemay and Zall.

I believe Lemay and Zall are the "experts" in the autobiographical writings of Benjamin Franklin.

Critical essays include essays written contemporaneously with this autobiography (including David Hume and John Adams); in the 19th century (including Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, Mark Twain); in the 20th century (including D.H. Lawrence, W. Somerset Maugham). The critical essay by D. H. Lawrence is a classic, but it is clear that Lawrence "misread" Benjamin Franklin, and having read it, I have lost some admiration for Lawrence.

Watch for this volume at discount book stores and independent books sellers through
HASH(0x8cce1e1c) out of 5 stars Great material 14 Jun. 2013
By John Sandmeyer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It not only had the text for Ben's Autobiography, but also other of his writings and writings by other about him and his ethics. Some of them were thoughtful. The notes by the editor were informative if expressed perhaps more strongly than necessary. I had never read Max Weber's famous comments about Franklin before. After reading them I consider them be a very contrived view to fit Weber's methodology for his study of capitalism and ethics.. I had purchased the book for a gift. I was strongly tempted to keep it for myself.
HASH(0x8cce1dbc) out of 5 stars Informative 18 Sept. 2013
By Avid Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't think I will like reading an autobiography but found this one rather interesting. Although I bought it for a class, I was drawn to it that is how interesting it was.
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