Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography

(1771)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography is not only a landmark of American literature but also a significant statement on what distinguishes Americans from other people. By the summer of 1771, Franklin was already world famous and known to nearly every American, as he was aware, so he began his memoirs as a way to elaborate on how he became successful. The autobiography is at first addressed to his son William, but this changes to a broader address to the general public, perhaps because during the Revolutionary War, William, as a royal governor,...

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Benjamin Franklin (Library of Congress)

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