Born Jan. 17, 1706, one of the nation's Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, diplomat and gifted thinker. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. Enjoy these factual and enlightening books that are available in the Manatee County Public Library System.
"The Compleated Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin," was faithfully compiled and edited from Franklin's papers by Dr. Mark Skousen, a noted Franklin scholar, as well as a descendant of Franklin. This is the closest we will ever get to Franklin sitting down in his study in Philadelphia, dipping his quill into ink and finishing his autobiography. Franklin paused in writing his biography when he was only 51, and unfortunately never returned to it. He lived another 33 eventful and dramatic years. We finally get to read the rest of the story, in this beautifully illustrated and designed book, a must read on the anniversary of Franklin's birth.
"Inventing America: The Life of Benjamin Franklin," by Mark Essig is a museum in a book and a fascinating interactive biography featuring historical descriptions and replicas of his sketches, letters and historical documents in Ben's own handwriting.
"Poor Richard's Almanack: Benjamin Franklin's Best Sayings" was his most popular published work. The first edition was published in 1732 and was chock-full of wit, wisdom and useful hints. It helped make Franklin's fortune and contributed to his fame.
"The Benjamin Franklin diet: lose weight and live longer with these health secrets from America's founding father: based on the writings of Benjamin Franklin" by Kelly Wright, details Franklin's lifetime and diet principles. Included are his favorite foods with sample meal plans and 75 recipes form Thomas Tryon's 1691 book, reputed to be the first vegetarian cookbook ever written. This book goes beyond diet and presents Franklin's precepts, advice and viewpoints on living.
"The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the pursuit of genius" shows Franklin's fascinating mind at work. Joyce E. Chaplin provides the key to understanding Ben Franklin through his science. The famous kite and other experiments with electricity were only a small part of his accomplishments; he charted the Gulf Stream, and made important observations in meteorology. With insight and wit she shows why Franklin was one of the most esteemed scientists of his time.
Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday.