The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin; Edited by Leonard W. Labaree, Ralph L. Ketcham, Helen C. Boatfield, and Helene H. Fineman. With a new foreword by Edmund S. Morgan
April 10, 2003
364 pages, 5 x 7 3/4
Prepared by the editors of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, this edition is drawn with scrupulous care from the original manuscript in Franklin's handwriting now in the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery. The introduction by Leonard W. Labaree places the autobiography in literary and historical contexts. In a new foreword, Edmund S. Morgan writes about Franklin's dual allegiance as an American and a subject of an English king—and his emergence as a leader of the American Revolution. This edition also includes biographical notes, a chronology of Franklin's life, and an updated bibliography.
“The best and most beautiful edition [of the Autobiography].”—J. H. Plumb, New York Review of Books
"People who have read one or more of the many current books about Benjamin Franklin really ought to direct their attention to the man himself, specifically to "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin". . . . It is the first great American book. . . . An extraordinary document. . . . Plainly yet vividly written, its 18th-century prose still accessible to ordinary readers more than two centuries later. . . . It portrays Colonial and Revolutionary America . . . with an immediacy unmatched in almost any other document. . . . Franklin's wisdom is for the ages, our own as much as his. So read the "Autobiography," and—among the many editions available—read Yale's. Its text is the most reliable (the Franklin papers are at Yale) and its supplementary material is uniformly useful."—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post