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Download Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Benjamin Franklin
3.75 out of 53.75 out of 53.75 out of 53.75 out of 53.75 out of 5 3.75 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Benjamin Franklin Narrator: Walter Costello Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2006 ISBN:
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Considered to be one of the best autobiographies written in colonial America, Franklin portrays a fascinating picture of life in pre-revolutionary Philadelphia. In his own words he describes his life as a printer, inventor, scientist, and politician. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Prasanna | 2/19/2014

    " A great book about a great man. He's more like Gandhi - experimenting ways for himself to improve his life in every possible way. I strive hard to follow his advices and live a life as satisfying as his. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelly Stoddard | 2/17/2014

    " Super interesting! I loved learning about old Ben before he became involved in the revolutionary war. I had to laugh reading it because he was clearly very proud of himself as well, but he did accomplish a lot. It was an interesting read. I'd like to read more about him from other points of view. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin Beary | 2/13/2014

    " Kasual Kafes review of this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy Perron | 1/16/2014

    " Ben Franklin's autobiography begins, in 1771, as a letter to his son. That son, William Franklin, was becoming something of a disappointment. He, for someone born a bastard in the 1770s, was becoming something of an aristocrat. William had been climbing the social ladder to the point of kissing the ring of King George III. It was not always that way, once father and son had been extremely close, they were only twenty years a part in age, and they shared many a common interest. William, for example, would often act as an assistant in many of Franklin's experiments. However, the similarities seem to have ended there. Ben Franklin had always proud to part of he called the `middling people,' what we would call today middle class, while his son wanted to be part of the ruling elite. One the first things Ben Franklin points out to his son in his `letter' is that he (Ben Franklin) is the youngest son of the youngest son for five generations. In a time-period where the old laws of primogeniture** are still the law of the land, this is quite a strong point to make on his son. Franklin tries to forcefully point out to his son that he and his family are of the most humble origins. In this work, Franklin revels a good deal about his life using the wit in humor that he is famous for. It is very reveling that he sums up his life by stating that if he were offer the chance he would gladly do it all again. "That felicity, when I reflected on it, has induced me sometimes to say, that were it offered to my choice, I should have no objection to a repetition of the same life from its beginning, only asking the advantages authors have in a second edition to correct some of the faults, change some sinister accidents and events of it for others more favorable. But though this were denied, I should still accept the offer. Since such a repetition is not expected, the next thing most like living one's over again seems to be a recollection of that life, and to make that recollection as durable as possible by putting it down in writing." p.1 Some of the most interesting aspects of this book are the little things that Franklin talks about while going over his past. As someone who knows quite a few vegetarians, I found Franklin explaining his `all vegetable diet' very entertaining. Franklin was apparently an on again, off again vegetarian. "I believe I have omitted mentioning that, in my first voyage from Boston, being becalm'd off Block Island, our people set about catching cod, and hauled up a great many. Hitherto I had stuck to my resolution of not eating animal food, and on this occasion I consider'd, with my master Tryon, the taking of every fish as a kind of unprovoked murder, since none of them had, or ever could do us any injury that might justify the slaughter. All of this seemed very reasonable. But I had formerly been a great lover of fish, and, when this came hot out of the frying-pan, it smelt admirably well. I balanc'd some time between principal and inclination, till I recollected that when the fish were opened, I saw smaller fish taken out of their stomachs; then thought I, `If you eat one another, I don't see why we mayn't each you.' So I din'd upon cod very heartily, and continued to eat with other people, returning only now and then to an all vegetable diet. So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for every thing one has a mind to do." p.28 As Ben Franklin guides of though the journey of his life, engaging us in useful entertaining tales, he then begins to discuss matters that are far more serious. As the book reaches its unintended conclusion, he remembers a conversation that he had with Lord Grandville, the President of the Privy Council, in 1757, on the nature of the relationship between Great Britain and her colonies. This is a conversation that would have a great deal of consequences over a decade later. "'You Americans have wrong ideas of the nature of your constitution; you contend that the king's instructions to his governors are not laws, and you think yourselves at liberty to regard or disregard them at you own discretion. But those instructions are not the pocket instructions given to a minister going abroad, for regulating his conduct in some trifling point of ceremony. They are first drawn up by judges learned in the laws; they are then considered, debated, and perhaps amended in the Council, after which they are signed by the king. They are then, so far as they relate to you, the law of the land, for the king is the LEGISLATOR OF THE COLONIES.' I told his lordship this was new doctrine to me. I had always understood from our charters that our laws were to be make by our Assemblies, to be presented indeed to the king for his royal assent, but that being once given the king could not repeal or alter them. And as the Assemblies could not make permanent laws without his assent, so neither could he make a law for them without theirs. He assured me I was totally mistaken. I did not think so, however, and his lordship's conversation having a little alarm'd me as to what might be the sentiments of the court concerning us, I wrote it down as soon as I return'd to my lodgings." p. 138-9 Reading Benjamin Franklin telling his own life story is a wonderful and fascinating adventure. In this book, the reader gets advice how to live his or her life to fullest by a man who actually did. Ben Franklin is funny, informative, and opens up a great view into the eighteenth century. The only sad part is he was unable to finish the job, a small disappointment in very successful and productive life. *Since this work was a project that went on and off again from 1771 to 1790 and not published until years after his death, I just put the last year of his life as the books date. **Primogeniture was an old inheritance law that gave the oldest son all the parents property and gave the other siblings nothing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 1/15/2014

    " This is definitely in my top ten if not top five of all-time greatest autobiographies. I've read the book at least twice and even over the years parts of remain vivid in my mind. This include Ben's excited, youthful investigation of the bustling Philadelphia city, cheap loaf of bread under his arm. His noted desire to note and hopefully some day fix things with those he has wronged is very human, honest, and affecting. His excitement as an apprentice printer telegraphs well. I highly recommend this work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa Hayes | 1/3/2014

    " zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. snoose--and this from a self-confessed history lover and general geek.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin Warren | 12/22/2013

    " Picked this one off of Kindle's "free book" list and it sucked me in quick. The underlying feeling I got was how someone who came from an ordinary family with no special circumstance became great. Must be the name (haha) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany Alaine | 12/19/2013

    " It was fun to see what kinds of things Ben Franklin was interested. His way of thinking is unique. I love that he was always coming up with ideas to make things better, and then carrying those ideas out. He didn't wait for someone else to do it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ralph | 12/6/2013

    " Wonderful Book. Franklin's humility and general nature come across. The number of times he started out assisting someone and it turned into a general benefit, or ending up to his own benefit is stunning. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elissa | 11/20/2013

    " I enjoyed the information about 1700's Philadelphia, and Franklin's talents, philosophy, and civic responsibilities. He never finished it though, and it stops before the revolutionary war! Aargh! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcelle | 10/27/2013

    " Surprisingly readable. It was interesting to hear what Franklin thinks were the key factors to his success. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Santos | 6/28/2013

    " I never knew he led such a grand life. It's fascinating to read what he did, more so to know that he wrote it all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Luis | 6/4/2013

    " Ok so, i was expecting a lot from this book, but unfortunately, i find it absolutely boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will Robinson | 5/27/2013

    " Excellent reading and insight into the man. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridget | 11/25/2012

    " Part I was amazing. Part II, not so much. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maribeth | 11/25/2012

    " A little dull. I liked the part where he described how he taught himself how to write and debate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rysiegel | 4/23/2012

    " Fabulous. You have to get used to the language but everything about it works....the story, the insights and, above all, the person. I wished it was longer "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dane | 2/10/2012

    " One of the most influential books I've ever read...a must read for entrepreneurs and those that appreciate US roots. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave | 12/14/2011

    " Very good and easy read....everyone with a political or religious opinion should read this "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason Field | 9/24/2011

    " Very interesting insight. Thoroughly enjoyed "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephen | 9/3/2011

    " I got this book in the free bin at Second Show in Hudson in October 2010. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Bajorek | 7/25/2011

    " Very easy reading, and an interesting look into the thoughts of one of the great Americans. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Manvir | 6/30/2011

    " this book taught me to wisely use your time , money, fame, knowledge, wisdom. you are here to still learn to explore to love everyone and live to your fullest. goals are achieved if you chose your goals. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 6/25/2011

    " Written in first-person, reading this book felt like I was sitting in the same room with Benjamin Franklin just listening to him tell the stories of his incredible life. Free on my kindle. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marina | 6/12/2011

    " Quite possibly one of the most boring books I have ever read in my life. Benjamin Franklin's efforts to immortalize his heroism on paper are conceited, contradictory, and totally uninspiring at best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sergey | 6/9/2011

    " An excellent mind and strong will. In most aspects he was a man I like to be like. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura | 6/7/2011

    " Though perhaps one of the most interesting people of all time, Ben Franklin's autobiography is one of the most boring books of all time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 6/5/2011

    " An interesting account of his life in his own words. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 5/30/2011

    " Everyone should read this!

    Did you know that besides discovering electricity he also founded the first library, U of Penn, the fire station and various benevolent societies? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Danjewygros | 5/28/2011

    " It's written in the old english so it's a bit of a pain to read. I found it a bit boring, which is a shame given how amazing this homie was. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nickie | 5/22/2011

    " This is most interesting. A small glimpse into his ancestry. I'm not far into the reading but there is a way that Benjamin gets your attention and wants you to learn more about him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 5/19/2011

    " Good read, but me and Ben, we wouldn't have been friends in his day! "

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About the Author
Author Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He is one of the most celebrated figures in American history.

About the Narrator

Walter Costellois an actor, known for Cops and Robin.