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Contents

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p. vii

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Preface: The Power of Values

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pp. ix-xii

His famous personality and notable charisma helped to define a uniquely engaged American style and character, exemplified by many people you will meet at Penn. Franklin was not just a scientist (one of the world's first). He was not only an educational theorist (breaking with the classical curriculum of his day). Franklin loved learning. But he also ...

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Introduction: Benjamin Franklin and the American Imagination

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pp. 1-4

Benjamin Franklin himself was the first American who answered the New World's need to prove its cultural worthiness. He was the colonies' first world citizen, receiving homage on both sides of the Atlantic as the man who personified the peculiar genius of America. Self-reliant, unpretentious, yet thoroughly accomplished, Franklin seemed to be the ...

PART I. THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY

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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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pp. 7-142

DEAR SON:2I have ever had pleasure in obtaining any little anecdotes of my ancestors. You may remember the inquiries I made among the remains of my relations when you were with me in England, and the journey I undertook for that purpose. Imagining it may be equally agreeable to you to know the circumstances of mv life, many of which you are ...

PART II. CRITICAL ESSAYS

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Benjamin Franklin and the American Enlightenment

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pp. 145-149

America's revolutionary leaders, though wary of excessive personal ambition, were nevertheless acutely conscious of their claim to fame with posterity. What they sought had little in common with celebrity, the fame we associate with Britney Spears, Posh Spice, or Donald Trump; indeed, it was nearly its antithesis. The pursuit of fame, in the ...

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Freedom of Reason

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pp. 150-153

Benjamin Franklin experienced irrational domination at an early age. with his formal education over by the age of ten and indentured at twelve to his older brother James to learn the trade of a printer, he later notes with remarkable calm that "I fancy his harsh and tyrannical treatment of me might be a means of impressing me with that aversion to ...

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An Inclination Joined with an Ability to Serve

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pp. 154-158

The myths have always threatened to swallow the man. The legends have always hid to absorb the life. But the myths have always been a hit ambiguous, and the legends a little elusive. In the conventional understanding, Franklin personified the opportunity America afforded people who were not well-born to seek their own ...

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The Key to Electricity

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pp. 159-164

The name "Benjamin Franklin" often evokes the image of an avuncular man flying a kite on a stormy night. It is indeed a striking picture: one of the founders of our country, a successful businessman, a diplomat, and the public face of the American Revolution spending his time contributing to the advancement of science-and putting his life at risk in ...

APPENDICES

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pp. 165-178

Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania

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pp. 165-170

A Chronology of Franklin's Life

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pp. 171-178

Contributors

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pp. 179-180