AoM Book Club August 2013: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

by Jeremy Anderberg on July 27, 2013 · 12 comments

in Book Club, Travel & Leisure


Last month, we announced the creation of the official AoM Book Club. Over in the AoM Community we’ve had enlightening discussion around The Great Gatsby over the last month.

Our selection for August is The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. It’s free as an ebook, or you can get a cheap paperback copy for around $4.

We wanted the book club to be a variety of fiction and non-fiction so as to include as many different interests as we can. Biographies are great choices for non-fiction because we get to study the lives of great men who’ve come before us. They’re like mentors from the past — a cabinet of invisible counselors. Who better to start with than the great Benjamin Franklin? We’re written about him extensively in the past:

Why not go right to the source and see what else we can glean from his life as a community? This short autobiography, one of the most well-known in history, was written in the last 20 years of his life, and wasn’t published in English until three years after he died (1793). It’s split into four parts over about 130 pages and is filled with all kinds of manly goodness to take away.


We’re giving you two weeks to get your hands on the book and read Part One, which is roughly the first 50 pages. We’ll post the first discussion on August 9th, and then every Friday after for the remainder of August. We’ll announce the September selection a week or so before that one starts up.

How to Join the Book Club

We’ll make announcements about the book club here on the main site, while housing the book’s discussion over on the AoM Community in a private group called “The Official Art of Manliness Book Club.” In addition to online discussion in the group forums, we have some great ideas in mind including doing video chats and Q&As with some literary experts on the subjects of our discussions.

To join the AoM Book Club you pay a one-time $1 membership fee (the aim of this nominal fee is to simply keep out trolls and hopefully increase your commitment). If you’ve already joined the book club group and paid, you don’t have to do so again. You’ll have access to all our discussions, notes, video chats, and expert Q&As from here on out.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 anonymous July 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Also available as a free download from project Gutenberg.

2 Andrew July 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

This is required reading for school this year! (11th grade — I’m homeschooled) I’ve looked at it before but I’ve never really read it.

3 Gorges Smythe July 27, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Read the book many years ago. Highly recommend it. Will read it again if I come across it.

4 Seth H. July 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Very excited for August. I sadly could not do July’s discussion of Gatsby. This book should provide some very stimulating and fun discussion

5 Joe F July 27, 2013 at 9:50 pm


6 Daniel July 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm

There is also an entire University lecture course on Benjamin Franklin, available on iTunes. I loved this lecture series, and learned a lot about this man.

7 Jack July 29, 2013 at 11:48 am

The best part of the book for me was how proud he was of their street lights! Seemingly a random thing we don’t remember him for today but he felt it was a major achievement and the envy of the world!

8 Graham Dube July 29, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Just found out about the AoM book club. Can’t wait to read it.

9 Uncle Dan July 29, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Absolutely amazing book. You wonder how Franklin got the time to do as much as he did. One of the best classics I’ve ever read. Very inspiring. Highly recommend.

10 Gina July 29, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I think that Benjamin Franklin is one of the most interesting people in our history. I am putting this one on my short list of must reads.

11 kashdoller July 31, 2013 at 11:18 am

Ben Franklin is ridiculously cool he is just oozing with awesome. His interestingness value is not to be rheckoned with. I mean the guy wasn’t a president and is on the $100 bill – there’s a reason for that.

I just started reading the project Gutenberg copy of this classic right here on this link:

12 Seth Ballard August 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I love autobiographies and biographies and can’t believe I have never read this one on Benjamin Franklin. I have it on the Kindle now though and can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the suggestion!

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