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Benjamin Franklin was one of the greatest American minds of the 18th century, and his goal was to be a doer of good and to live a useful life. His dedication to principles of self-improvement and his belief that these principles could be beneficial to all led him in 1760 to propose ... a little work ... to be called The Art of Virtue.Though Franklin never completed the pro Benjamin Franklin was one of the greatest American minds of the 18th century, and his goal was to be a doer of good and to live a useful life. His dedication to principles of self-improvement and his belief that these principles could be beneficial to all led him in 1760 to propose ... a little work ... to be called The Art of Virtue.Though Franklin never completed the project, editor George L. Rogers has culled Franklin's writings to assemble the book he might have written. The Art of Virtue is arranged according to twelve principles which guided Franklin's life, including Franklin's thoughts on goals and personal development, family and interpersonal relationships, business and wealth, ethics, good health, aging, and more.The Art of Virtue is full of profound insight, delightful humor, quotable quotes -- and plenty of common sense.


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Benjamin Franklin was one of the greatest American minds of the 18th century, and his goal was to be a doer of good and to live a useful life. His dedication to principles of self-improvement and his belief that these principles could be beneficial to all led him in 1760 to propose ... a little work ... to be called The Art of Virtue.Though Franklin never completed the pro Benjamin Franklin was one of the greatest American minds of the 18th century, and his goal was to be a doer of good and to live a useful life. His dedication to principles of self-improvement and his belief that these principles could be beneficial to all led him in 1760 to propose ... a little work ... to be called The Art of Virtue.Though Franklin never completed the project, editor George L. Rogers has culled Franklin's writings to assemble the book he might have written. The Art of Virtue is arranged according to twelve principles which guided Franklin's life, including Franklin's thoughts on goals and personal development, family and interpersonal relationships, business and wealth, ethics, good health, aging, and more.The Art of Virtue is full of profound insight, delightful humor, quotable quotes -- and plenty of common sense.

30 review for the Art of Virtue: His Formula for Successful Living

  1. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    I find Benjamin Franklin amazing. He began working as a printer apprentice at the age of 12. He was a self made man who believed that you take one bad habit at a time, work on it for two weeks and begin another. He was clever, witty, smart, a hard worker, intuitive and I liked his idea of his group who met and discussed current issues, ideas, philosophy and books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rami Saber

    A Great book about a Great man, coming from a different cultural background, it really amazes me how great men have common features and similarities which crosses religious boundaries Meaning that if you move B. Franklin (with his virtues) to any religious group in any age, he would still be a Great Man.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Lunsford

    Great book that is mostly Franklin's own writing on the subject of a virtuous life. Masterfully edited with some of the editor's thoughts to tie all the pieces together. If you read and enjoyed the Autobiography, you should read this one as well. Great book that is mostly Franklin's own writing on the subject of a virtuous life. Masterfully edited with some of the editor's thoughts to tie all the pieces together. If you read and enjoyed the Autobiography, you should read this one as well.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael Ploof

    This is a must for anyone looking to succeed in this thing we call life.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Franck

    Great summary of the virtues that Sir B. Franklin lived upon to become the legend we now know him to be.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Leigh

    Reading The Art of Virtue convinced me that Benjamin Franklin was kind of a g. My reasoning: 1.) Right off the bat, he's like, "yeah, I think church is super boring and pointless so I don't go. Also my preacher really sucks. So I decided to make my own church." 2.) He was pro-vaccinations. 3.) He believed that women should be educated and said that women often make better bookkeepers than men. 4.) I'm fairly certain from the description in his intro that he created the first bullet journal/habit t Reading The Art of Virtue convinced me that Benjamin Franklin was kind of a g. My reasoning: 1.) Right off the bat, he's like, "yeah, I think church is super boring and pointless so I don't go. Also my preacher really sucks. So I decided to make my own church." 2.) He was pro-vaccinations. 3.) He believed that women should be educated and said that women often make better bookkeepers than men. 4.) I'm fairly certain from the description in his intro that he created the first bullet journal/habit tracker. 5.) He pretty frankly and unapologetically talks about visiting prostitutes, only regretting that they are expensive and bad for his health. But yeah, the structure of this book was pretty shitty and thin. You get this great introduction where Franklin talks about how he wants to go through each of his 13 proposed virtues individually and talk about he tackled each one, but what you end up with here is some random quotes from his autobiography that may or may not apply to the chapter name/virtue.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ling Chung

    Good lessons from Benjamin Franklin, the lessons are worth the read. However, not an easy book to get through. The Kindle version was laden with typos. The book includes a compendium of letters written by Franklin that were hard to digest because these letters were written in 1800s English, very much stylistically antiquated.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chrisanne

    Disappointed. It wasn't really written by Franklin at all. Instead it was... largely quotes from him interpreted by someone who didn't really seem to have any qualifications to do so. Did not finish, so it may have gotten better past pg 17. If you've read any of my more opinionated reviews, you'll know that I love editors. But editors are supposed to edit, not write the bulk of it. Disappointed. It wasn't really written by Franklin at all. Instead it was... largely quotes from him interpreted by someone who didn't really seem to have any qualifications to do so. Did not finish, so it may have gotten better past pg 17. If you've read any of my more opinionated reviews, you'll know that I love editors. But editors are supposed to edit, not write the bulk of it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Beverly Boyd

    Loved this book, BF had an interesting idea on how one could improve life and find meaning. Tranquillity Be not disturbed at trifles, or accidents common or unavoidable. Much, much wisdom in this book

  10. 5 out of 5

    Parker Briggs

    A brilliant man. Reading it I hope some of his intelligence rubbed off onto me

  11. 4 out of 5

    St├ęphane Boudreau

    Some old books are worth reading, some are not, this one being one of them.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    Here's a peek at Franklin's self-made path to his own improvement and fleshed out with examples from his autobiography. The compiler of this little work was hard-pressed to expand it into something which can be loosely called a book. Even so, I found a few smakerels of pith amongst the marginally inaccessible vocabulary. I enjoyed reading about how the idea of a lending library caught hold. I appreciated a glimpse of his little private club of twelve and how this club was responsible for the cre Here's a peek at Franklin's self-made path to his own improvement and fleshed out with examples from his autobiography. The compiler of this little work was hard-pressed to expand it into something which can be loosely called a book. Even so, I found a few smakerels of pith amongst the marginally inaccessible vocabulary. I enjoyed reading about how the idea of a lending library caught hold. I appreciated a glimpse of his little private club of twelve and how this club was responsible for the creation of more clubs which together spear-headed much needed civic improvements and modifications. He was able to take criticism and addressed his character accordingly. For instance, when he was told he was "overbearing and rather insolent" he added a thirteenth virtue: HUMILITY. He addressed this error of his ways by amending his mode of expression. Rather than using words such as "certainly, undoubtedly, etc." he adopted the use of phrases such as "I conceive", "I apprehend", or "I imagine, a thing to be so or so; or it so appears to me at present". He goes on to say, "I soon found the advantage of this change in my manners; the conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly. The modest way in which I proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction; I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong; and I more easily prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me, when I happened to be in the right". His list of twelve virtues (complete with his own definition of them) were tackled by him one per week with a ledger and tracking system of his own design. Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity. I found his thoughts on religion to be of interest. I hadn't known he was a vegetarian (and it's unclear whether or not this was a life-long choice). I had always heard he had skipped out on his indenturetude to his brother but I had never heard that they made amends and that he was able to fulfill that obligation by taking on his brother's son in turn. I hadn't known that Franklin favored the practical education of women to fit them for business. If I had my own copy of this it would be all marked up with highlights. Yes, I highly recommend it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    While not necessarily a biography of Benjamin Franklin, this book gives the reader a nice look into his life. One of the most interesting things about the book is the "virtues" that Dr. Franklin chose to make part of his every day life. I have since followed his lead and carry around a little notebook with various virtues that I wish to master. By keeping track of them on a daily basis, I see the areas that I need the most help in changing. If you're looking for a biography, go someplace else. If While not necessarily a biography of Benjamin Franklin, this book gives the reader a nice look into his life. One of the most interesting things about the book is the "virtues" that Dr. Franklin chose to make part of his every day life. I have since followed his lead and carry around a little notebook with various virtues that I wish to master. By keeping track of them on a daily basis, I see the areas that I need the most help in changing. If you're looking for a biography, go someplace else. If you're looking for stories and letters that show the make-up of this great man, this book will do just that.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Will

    Though short, I disagree with the fashion of it. It is, essentially, excerpts of his biography and related writings; taken out of context, they do not obviously related to the section headings. Humility, for example, is just two pages from the autobiography discussing humbleness in religion and doesn't seem to reflect Franklin's belief in either God or humility. But, having used his discussion on adding humility to the end if his virtue list, the book doesn't want to reuse it. So. It is likely ad Though short, I disagree with the fashion of it. It is, essentially, excerpts of his biography and related writings; taken out of context, they do not obviously related to the section headings. Humility, for example, is just two pages from the autobiography discussing humbleness in religion and doesn't seem to reflect Franklin's belief in either God or humility. But, having used his discussion on adding humility to the end if his virtue list, the book doesn't want to reuse it. So. It is likely advantageous to read the various texts in their original form rather than chopped up in an attempt to create the book Franklin never himself wrote.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Graham

    Not having studied the life of Benjamin Franklin, I can only comment on this particular book. While there were certainly some very useful philosophical musings, I found them to be in a narrower context of a white god fearing Anglo Saxon. That said I am more likely to learn from a great story, a brilliant writer or a brilliant recounting of history. Old world self-help books may not be the pill that needs swallowing in this day and age, eternal truths apart.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dave Diercks

    Reflecting upon Ben Franklin's personal letters, whether they be in his autobiography, or in Fart Proudly, or here in the Art of Virtue, (which Ben didn't complete himself) I am always left with a potent desire to improve my life, and the lives of those around me. Read the Art of Virtue! Own a copy and keep it for reference. Reflecting upon Ben Franklin's personal letters, whether they be in his autobiography, or in Fart Proudly, or here in the Art of Virtue, (which Ben didn't complete himself) I am always left with a potent desire to improve my life, and the lives of those around me. Read the Art of Virtue! Own a copy and keep it for reference.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Edward Surowiec

    Seems to be a very practical method for self improvment.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    A college read. I loved Franklin's essays! A college read. I loved Franklin's essays!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    BF is a hero. His words are words to live by

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brad Jamison

    I read this book in college for an English class and loved it. Great "formula" for life. I read this book in college for an English class and loved it. Great "formula" for life.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    an absolutely excellent book

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  23. 4 out of 5

    James

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nick Morgan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jbaker717

  26. 5 out of 5

    Danae Olson

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nichole Boultas

  29. 5 out of 5

    Pepper

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kellykarpinski

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