Benjamin Franklin: His Contribution to the American Tradition

By I. Bernard Cohen | Go to book overview
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Readers interested in the life of Benjamin Franklin may consult Carl Van Doren's biography, Benjamin Franklin ( New York: The Viking Press, 1938), and the companion volume, Benjamin Franklin's Autobiographical Writings ( New York: The Viking Press, 1945), and Paul Leicester Ford The ManySided Franklin ( New York: The Century Co., 1899). Various aspects of Franklin's career are discussed in Meet Dr. Franklin ( Philadelphia: The Franklin Institute, 1943). Carl L. Becker's stimulating essay on Franklin, first published in the Dictionary of American Biography, has been reprinted by the Cornell University Press. The conflicting views held about Franklin during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are ably presented by Dixon Weeter in "Poor Richard: The boy who made good," Chapter 4 of his book The Hero in America, a chronicle of hero-worship ( New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1941).

Franklin's political views prior to the Revolution may best be studied in Verner W. Crane Benjamin Franklin, Englishman and American ( Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1936) and his edition of Benjamin Franklin's Letters to the Press 1758-1775( Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1950). Franklin's scientific writings are available in I. Bernard Cohen , Benjamin Franklin's Experiments: a new edition of Franklin's "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," edited with a critical and historical introduction ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1941); a monograph on Franklin's science is being completed for publication by the American Philosophical Society and the Princeton University Press.

Franklin's writings on education have been edited by Thomas Woody, Educational Views of Benjamin Franklin ( New York: McGraw-Hill, 1931), and his writings on eco


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