Benjamin Franklin did many notable things. He discovered electricity. He opened the first library. He was a founding father. He invented the bifocals. He has so many acheivements. He did lots of great work. But, his personality and history is often overlooked by the big events of his life. Along with being a founding father, he was a writer and journalist. He was a scientist. And he was a husband and father.
What are the Best Benjamin Franklin Books to read?
These books detail Benjamin Franklin’s life and history. He did a great job of helping discover America and declare its freedom. He was an honorable man with acheivements and flaws. It’s important to see all sides to a story, even the stories of the greatest people in history. The books below will help readers understand Benjamin Franklin, what he did for history, and what he did for the present and future.
Best Books on Benjamin Franklin: Our Top 20 Picks
Here are some of the best Benjamin Franklin books that you can consider to expand your knowledge on the subject:
1. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin is another version of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. This autobiography recounts Benjamin Franklin’s life from 1771 to 1790. Franklin was independent, had good intentions, and did lots of important work. In this book, Benjamin Franklin explains his reasoning for every decision he made. He explains the obstacles he had to overcome, and the most notable events in his life. This book was not published until after Benjamin Franklin’s death.
This book is considered an autobiography, but he described it as a memoir. Benjamin Franklin had so many talents. He discusses these talents in his book, and goes more into detail on what went into his accomplishments. This is a great read, particularly for educators that are teaching students about Benjamin Franklin. This would be a great assigned read that is not too difficult to follow.
- Authors: Benjamin Franklin (Author)
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 1, 2019)
- Pages: 116 pages
2. Franklin’s Autobiography
Benjamin Franklin has a lengthy history full of many achievements. Instead of reading an interpretation of his history, why not hear what he has to say. Franklin’s Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin covers Benjamin Franklin’s history and how he recounts it. It is told in the present. He knows of his accomplishments, but he doesn’t know how far they’ll go.
The book has a long, rigorous introduction. The meat and the bones of the book, which would be Benjamin Franklin’s notes and information, is what ties this book together. He was very intelligent, which can be seen in this book.
This book is a very great autobiography. The differing language between generations can be hard to read, but the book is great overall, and perfect for those who want to know more about Benjamin Franklin from an unbiased source.
- Pages: 268 pages
3. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Benjamin Franklin is most well-known for being one of the founding fathers. He contributed a lot of notable work to the world that is often overlooked by his name. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson recounts all of Benjamin Franklin’s history. While this book does a great job of sharing Benjamin Franklin’s trials and tribulations, it doesn’t actually detail his vulnerability.
This book shows more of Benjamin Franklin’s confidence, which makes him unrelatable. He was not born into privilege, so he needed to work his way up. This book was great, but it would be alot better if it discussed the hardships Benjamin Franklin had to endure instead of his founding fathers. This is a pretty good biography, but there is more to Benjamin Franklin than it touches on.
- Authors: Walter Isaacson (Author)
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Edition (July 1, 2003)
- Pages: 624 pages
4. The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin
The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin covers every little detail of Benjamin Franklin’s life. The politics in this book are actually readable and enjoyable. This book is well-organized. It captures all of the good and the bad in Benjamin Franklin’s life. Benjamin Franklin was many things: he was a penniless runaway, a triumphant printer, and was an all around pivotal character in colonial history. He did a lot of great work, and he worked hard to do so.
This book is full of interesting, and has plenty of detail. That being said, it can be a long, dull read at times. It goes on for awhile. This book, at times, has too much detail. It could be condensed so as to not lose the attention of the readers.
- Authors: H. W. Brands (Author)
- Publisher: Anchor; Reprint Edition (May 14, 2010)
- Pages: 786 pages
5. The Way to Wealth
The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin is an incredible introduction to personal finance by a notable man in history. This book is wise, and thoughtful. Even though it was written over 200 years ago, many of Franklin’s tips and advice can be used today. He wants people to achieve success by staying true to themselves. His book helps people get rich in a way that keeps their integrity intact.
This book helps readers with their money, savings, and insight into the world of finance. This book is a quick read. It is simple to get through, and it is not boring either. Benjamin Franklin continues to help people long past his death. He has notable insight to many things, money only being one of them. This book helps readers better manage their money just like Benjamin Franklin did.
- Authors: Benjamin Franklin (Author)
- Publisher: Applewood Books (September 1, 1986)
- Pages: 30 pages
6. The Way to Wealth: Ben Franklin on Money and Success
Benjamin Franklin has an opinion on everything, and money does not fall short of that. The Way to Wealth: Ben Franklin on Money and Success by Benjamin Franklin includes some of Benjamin Franklin’s essays related to money. This book has advice for obtaining success and money. This is a pocket-sized book that has plenty of information that can be read quickly. It has great advice that applies to many situations. Readers can carry this book with them everywhere they go.
The book ends with rules on 13 ways to be a good person. Benjamin Franklin uses this book to focus on character development. He teaches readers how to succeed without using their integrity and heart. This book has amazing advice from one of the oldest and most successful voices of the past. This is a simple read for readers of every level.
- Authors: Benjamin Franklin (Author), Charles Conrad (Author), Best Success Books (Author)
- Publisher: www.SuccessBooks.net (May 16, 2014)
- Pages: 21 pages
7. Who Was Ben Franklin?
Benjamin Franklin was so many things. He was a scientist, a founding father, an inventor, a statesman, and so much more. He was an inspiration to many people, and still is today. Who Was Ben Franklin? By Dennis Brindell Fradin is a great kid’s book detailing the history of Benjamin Franklin. The pictures in this book are cute, fun, and colorful. The drawings excite kids and make them eager to learn more about Benjamin Franklin.
This book is a short easy read. Older kids can read it on their own easily. This book is funny, interesting, and thrilling. This is a great gateway to the history of Benjamin Franklin. This is a perfect for kids who need to do a research paper on a historical figure, especially a figure as notable as Benjamin Franklin.
- Authors: Dennis Brindell Fradin (Author), Who HQ (Author), John O’Brien (Illustrator)
- Publisher: Penguin Workshop; Illustrated Edition (February 18, 2002)
- Pages: 112 pages
8. Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard: A Novel
Benjamin Franklin had a son: William Franklin. Even though he had a son, they did not have the most-loving relationship. Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard: A Novel by Sally Cabot recalls the history of William Franklin, and how it affected Benjamin Franklin’s life. Benjamin Franklin’s family life was very complicated, and his son’s existence only added to that.
This book discusses William Franklin and how he came to have two loving moms. William Franklin was the son of Benjamin Franklin and his mistress, Anne. However, Benjamin Franklin’s wife, Deborah, raised him as her own.
This book is full of drama, war, and love. This book is historical fiction, so don’t believe everything that is said. But it is based on truth. This book is a page turner that keeps readers engaged and interested in Benjamin Franklin and William Franklin.
- Authors: Sally Cabot (Author)
- Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint Edition (May 7, 2013)
- Pages: 373 pages
9. Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School
Benjamin Franklin was many things. He first and foremost, a founding father. He had great success in his life, but he was also very funny. Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School by Benjamin Franklin is a collection of more of Benjamin Franklin’s more humorous essays. This book has many topics: sacred cows, attacks on marriage, hoaxes, and the english parliament.
This book is more entertaining than it is historical. It gives readers an insight into the wit of Benjamin Franklin, and how well-rounded he was. These essays are humorous, but they also criticize politics and more-pressing issues in a light-hearted way. Benjamin Franklin’s humor is dry. He uses many puns. Benjamin Franklin was a scientist, a statesman, and much more, but he was also the King of Satire. This book proves just that.
- Authors: Benjamin Franklin (Author), Carl Japikse (Editor)
- Publisher: Frog Books; Revised ed. Edition (May 1, 2003)
- Pages: 128 pages
10. Benjamin Franklin’s Book of Virtues
Benjamin Franklin truly has a virtuous history. Being virtuous, means one has virtues. Benjamin Franklin’s Book of Virtues by Benjamin Franklin includes 13 of his most important virtues. This is a great book for parents to read to their children. It is simple and straight-forward. The language is easy to read, and is less about Benjamin Franklin’s history, and more about his values.
This book is motivational and inspiring. This book gives insight into what drove Benjamin Franklin to succeed. This book gives readers the opportunity to get to know the real Benjamin Franklin. He was humorous, kind, and hard-working. This book really delves deep into who he was, without focusing on all he did. Benjamin Franklin was an amazing man. This book really shows the virtues that made him who he was.
- Authors: Benjamin Franklin (Author)
- Publisher: Applewood Books (September 27, 2016)
- Pages: 32 pages
11. The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin
The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood chronicilizes Benjamin Franklin’s life and how it revolutionized America. This book tells a more complex narrative of Benjamin Franklin. His life was more ambiguous than people may assume.
This book is a little simple, but it’s also convoluted. Benjamin Franklin had allegiance to the United States as well as England. His history as an American is noteworthy and amazing, but it is not flawless.
This book gives a look into the life of Benjamin Franklin, and how he was not the perfect human being. It explains how his mistakes made him the person he was. He had great achievements in life, and he leaves a notable history of achievements after death. This is an unbiased book that truly explores who Benjamin Franklin was, and what he did for America.
- Authors: Gordon S. Wood (Author)
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint Edition (May 31, 2005)
- Pages: 354 pages
12. Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin was an inventor. He discovered many things, but the most well-known being electricity. Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta is lists many of Benjamin Franklin’s other inventions. Franklin set up many inventions and even had a hand in setting up libraries, fire departments, and hospitals. This book recounts some of the inventions Benjamin Franklin made, how he did it, and the impact it had on the world.
This book has beautiful illustrations that are fun, and light-hearted. This is definitely a perfect book for teaching children about Benjamin Franklin and the work he did. The book is also great for adults. It’s an easy read, and focuses on some of the great work Benjamin Franklin did that is not often mentioned in other history books.
- Authors: Gene Barretta (Author, Illustrator)
- Publisher: Square Fish; First Edition (December 23, 2008)
- Pages: 40 pages
13. Benjamin Franklin Wit and Wisdom
Benjamin Franklin Wit and Wisdom by Benjamin Franklin is a pocketbook that can be taken anywhere. It is small, compact, and condensed. It has a lot of information on a few pages. The book has accompanying illustrations that match the history, and make it more interesting. This book has incredible quotes and sayings from Benjamin Franklin.
This book makes for a great conversation starter. This book has fun facts on Benjamin Franklin, but nothing too meaty. It doesn’t go too into depth because it’s not big enough to do so. This is a great introductory book for people who are looking to know more about Benjamin Franklin, but haven’t learned about him before. This is a great book for students to use as a refresher on Benjamin Franklin and his incredible life.
- Authors: Benjamin Franklin (Author)
- Publisher: Peter Pauper Press; Min Edition (April 1, 1998)
- Pages: 64 pages
14. The Autobiography and Other Writings
The Autobiography and Other Writings by Benjamin Franklin is Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography and so much more. This compilation includes passages from Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, some of the essays he wrote, and a deeper look into Benjamin Franklin’s history. The book is fascinating, but it can be a bit tedious.
Benjamin Franklin was a civilian who worked hard to make life better for the citizens of the world, and more specifically America. The autobiography passages are interesting, but what really makes this book stand out are the essays.
This book introduces Benjamin Franklin from different perspectives. It shows his personality, his humor, and his overwhelming success. This book is a great read for students, teachers, and anyone else who wants and needs to know about Benjamin Franklin.
- Authors: Benjamin Franklin (Author), L. Jesse Lemisch (Editor), Walter Isaacson (Introduction)
- Publisher: Signet; Reprint Edition (August 5, 2014)
- Pages: 352 pages
15. The Completed Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
Many have complained that Benjamin Franklin did not complete his autobiography. With The Completed Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin by Mark Skousen, we don’t have to. This book celebrates the 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s birth. This book recounts the work Franklin did after 1957, so everything he did until his death in 1790. He did lots of notable work as a scientist, printer, writer, lobbyist, inventor, and more. He was self-made. He started as penniless nobody, and worked his way up to becoming a founding father of the United States of America. He made history–history that this book covers.
At times, this book can feel lengthy and redundant. Overall, though, it has incredible information that is often left out of other books. Skousen did his research. This book covers every aspect of Benjamin Franklin’s life.
- Authors: Mark Skousen (Author), Benjamin Franklin (Author)
- Publisher: Regnery History (November 21, 2005)
- Pages: 256 pages
16. Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth of Ingenuity
Benjamin Franklin’s early life is when he had to work his hardest. He had no money, no name for himself, and a long way to go. Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth of Ingenuity by Nick Bunker focuses on Benjamin Franklin’s youth. Everything in this book happened before Benjamin Franklin was 41.
This book focuses on his lesser known accomplishments. This book recalls the history of Benjamin Franklin and the small accomplishments that led him to make the big ones. This good has a good in depth history of Benjamin Franklin, but at times it can be judgemental.
The author inserts his opinion often, and sometimes in places where it doesn’t need to be. But this book does really capture the young years of Benjamin Franklin, and how they shaped him for bigger, more profound change.
- Authors: Nick Bunker (Author)
- Publisher: Knopf; 1st Edition (September 18, 2018)
- Pages: 464 pages
17. Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin by Edmund S. Morgan is a short, yet interesting biography of Benjamin Franklin. The book is concise and easy to read. Morgan does an incredible job of viewing Benjamin Franklin’s life from all perspectives. This is an important introduction to the life of Benjamin Franklin. It is not too long, so it does not become redundant halfway through like many other historical books do.
This book has more intel on how Benjamin differed from the other founding fathers: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and George Washington. This book recaps all of Benjamin Franklin’s life, from beginning to end. He worked really hard for his success. This book shows his determination and resilience as a man and as a founding father. This is a good book for people with all levels of knowledge on Benjamin Franklin.
- Authors: Edmund S. Morgan (Author)
- Publisher: Yale University Press; Illustrated Edition (September 24, 2003)
- Pages: 352 pages
18. Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father
There is so much information and history on Benjamin Franklin’s life and accomplishments, but there is little known about his religion. Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father by Thomas S. Kidd takes a look into Benjamin Franklin’s history.
This book discusses the accomplishments Benjamin Franklin had as a scientist, printer, and a diplomat. But most of all, this book delves into his religious beliefs that Benjamin Franklin had. He abandoned his Christianity that his family so deeply believed in. He published many works on many religious topics. Like the rest of Benjamin Franklin’s work, he did his research. He learned about many religions, and what drove others to believe in them.
This book debunks the myth that Benjamin Franklin was not a religious person. Benjamin Franklin had a lot more depth in perspective than many thought he did, and this book explains that.
- Authors: Thomas S. Kidd (Author)
- Publisher: Yale University Press; Illustrated Edition (May 23, 2017)
- Pages: 288 pages
19. A Benjamin Franklin Reader
A Benjamin Franklin Reader by Walter Issaacson is full of selected pieces from Benjamin Franklin’s history. Benjamin Franklin was an amazing writer. He published works in newspapers, books, and more. He has no shortage of excellent pieces on a variety of topics. He was witty, funny, and smart.
This book includes those pieces, as well as an introduction and preface to each of them. The book provides context and background to each story. This book helps readers grasp an idea of who Benjamin Franklin was behind all of his prominent titles. He was kind and thoughtful. He was intelligent. He was witty. He was a kind man, whose personality was often overshadowed by his achievements. This book is long, but it isn’t dull. It is interesting, and keeps readers captivated and enlightened by Benjamin Franklin’s history.
- Authors: Walter Isaacson (Author)
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Annotated – Illustrated Edition (June 2, 2005)
- Pages: 576 pages
20. Benjamin and William Franklin: Father and Son, Patriot and Loyalist
Benjamin Franklin wasn’t only a founding father, he was an actual father. Benjamin and William Franklin: Father and Son, Patriot and Loyalist by Sheila L. Skemp is a wonderful book about the relationship between father and son. So many history books focus on Benjamin Franklin’s fiscal accomplishments and not his familial conflict. The two were divided due to political conflicts. They were divided. Their love turned to hate. Skemp does a good job of explaining how the two reached a terrible divide.
The book, at some points, can be dull and boring. However, this book brings a fresh perspective on an aspect of Benjamin Franklin’s life that lacked the success and honor some many other parts did. The book has speeches and letters, and lots of amazing history.
- Authors: Sheila L. Skemp (Author)
- Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin’s; 1st Edition (March 15, 1994)
- Pages: 205 pages
Choosing the Best Benjamin Franklin Books
These books have lots of thoughtful information on Benjamin Franklin. They capture his life and history, as well as his personality and wit. He did a lot of great things, but he also had his faults. Choosing the right book to study Benjamin Franklin and his life can be difficult, but it is necessary based on what readers need to know. These are 20 of the best books of Benjamin Franklin, but there are plenty more that be can found.