Benjamin Franklin's The Art of Virtue consists of a collection of Franklin's writings organized around his timeless philosophy on such topics as: goal setting and personal achievement, obtaining wealth and preserving health, human relations and family living, religion and morality, aging and dying, and much, much more.
Full of profound insights, delightful humor, quotable quotes, and plenty of common sense; The Art of Virtue provides wonderful reading for both young and old alike.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I wish I would have paid more attention to another review here (from D. Gamble) that emphasized that this really is not unadulterated Franklin. I think it's misleading to list Benjamin Franklin as the author (as Amazon does). Certainly listing him as the author couldn't hurt sales. I wonder what Franklin would think about authorship of this book being ascribed to him.
The editor, George L. Rogers, interjects himself and his own ideas far more than most editors would venture to do, and in so doing becomes more the author than the editor (I'd guess a good half of the text in the book is from Rogers rather than Franklin). Interspersed throughout the book are "Franklin's formulas for successful living" written by Rogers (inexplicably in verse form) that I suppose are meant to summarize particular aspects of Franklin's philosophy. These always seem to ramble listlessly and bear no resemblance to what I would understand as a formula, i.e. a terse representation of the essence...
Franklin shares his philosophy, formula for success which is full of insights, humor, goal setting, personal achievements, human relations, morality and much more.
His story begins, "It was about this time that I conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wished to live without committing any fault at any time... I soon found I had undertaken a task of more difficulty than I had imagined..."
He names his virtues and their precepts:
1. Temperance. Eat not to Dullness Drink not to Elevation.
2. Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling Conversation.
3. Order. Let all your Things have their Places. Let each Part of your Business have its Time.
4. Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
5. Frugality. Make no Expense but to do good to others or yourself:...
The Art of Virtue covers Franklin's twelve principles for living a virtuous, happy and productive life. Franklin never complied these into a book himself, thus George Rogers pieced this together from several of Franklin's written pieces, segments from his Almanacs, and other various sources including letters to friends. Rogers' commentary is complete with analysis and summations that result in an exceptionally well flowing masterpiece.
Franklin observed that people tend to let their values be dictated by the tide of popular opinion; an ominous notion given that the choices we make that govern our lives are generally in the context of our value system. Franklin asserts choosing values is among the most important choices we make as human beings; thus the greatest of all ambitions is to develop strong character. All his guidance is based on the principle that the one thing all humans have in common in a desire to be happy, and therefore being of strong character and living...
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