A classic of eighteenth-century American history and literature, Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography has had an influence perhaps unequaled by any other book by an American writer. Written ostensibly as a letter to his son William, Franklin's Autobiography offers his reflections on philosophy and religion, politics, war, education, material success, and the status of women.
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.