The Portable Benjamin Franklin

The Portable Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin and Larzer Ziff (ed). A generous selection of writings that brings to life the attractive, complex, and guileful genius of the most celebrated American of his age. It takes a very inclusive anthology to encompass the protean personality and range of interests of Benjamin Franklin, but The Portable Benjamin Franklin succeeds as no collection has. In addition to the complete Autobiography, the volume contains about 100 of Franklin’s major writings— essays, journalism, letters, political tracts, scientific observations, proposals for the improvement of civic and personal life, literary bagatelles, and private musings. The selections are reprinted in their entirety and organized chronologically within six sections that represent the full range of Franklin’s temperament. The result is a zestful read for Franklin scholars and anyone wanting to know and enjoy this American icon. Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was a statesman, journalist, scientist, and entrepreneur. Among other achievements, he performed pioneering experiments with electricity and helped prepare both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Larzer Ziff is a research professor of English at Johns Hopkins University who has written extensively on American literary culture.