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Poor Richard's Almanack

Poor Richard’s Almanack by Benjamin Franklin

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For over twenty five years, Benjamin Franklin shared his wisdom and humor with a ravenous readership with his yearly editions of Poor Richard’s Almanack.  He offered predictions on the weather, astronomy, poetry, and much more.  Today his work as Poor Richard is best remembered for his timeless, thought-provoking aphorisms and proverbs that are as valuable today, in business and in life, as they were over two centuries ago.  With more than 900 pithy sayings, Franklin lays out rules by which everyone should live and offers advice on subjects such as money, friendship, marriage, ethics, and human nature.  They range from the famous “A penny saved is a penny earned” to the lesser known but equally practical “When the wine enters, out goes the truth.”  Modern economist Paul Volcker’s new introduction offers a fascinating perspective on Franklin’s beloved work.


Click here for a "critical notice" of the first reprint of Poor Richard's Almanac from the January 1850 issue of The American Whig Review.

"If you want the brutal truth, I did not expect to get much useful information out of Poor Richard's Almanack. I wondered, what could Benjamin Franklin—a guy who has been, no offense, dead for more than two hundred years—possibly have to say that would be relevant to a resident of today's dot-com world? Plenty, as it turns out." —from the Introduction by Dave Barry--This text refers to the Paperback edition

Courteous Reader: 'It is hardly necessary to state, that Franklin did not originate all the sayings of Poor Richard. He himself tells us, that they were the 'Wisdom of many ages and nations'. Any one, familiar with Bacon, Rochefoucauld, and Rabelais, as well as Others, will recognize old friends in some of these sayings, while a study of the Collection of Proverbs, made in the early part of the eighteenth century, by Ray and Palmer, will reveal the probable source from which Poor Richard pilfer'd. Yet, with but few exceptions, these maxims and aphorisms had been filter'd through Franklin's brain, and were ting'd with that mother wit, which so strongly and individually marks so much that he said and wrote. --from the introduction by Paul Leicester Ford

5 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Enlightening, and Educational, August 22, 2001

By A Customer

A wonderful book of sayings that espouse Ben Franklin's views on life. In general, he was an advocate of honesty, hard work, moderation in all indulgences, and being a good person. While these may sound like simple principles, the wittiness and cleverness with which they are presented make them memorable and therefore useful.

Buy two copies of this book -- one for yourself and one for your child when they reach their teenage years. You'll both be better off. My copy is marked up so I can easily find my favorite sayings, and I find myself flipping through it often.

5 out of 5 stars Choice Morsels Of Wisdom, January 28, 2006

By Jon Linden (Warren, N.J. United States) (TOP 1000 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)       

Franklin's timeless compilation of whit and wisdom is truly a classic. The book contains some of the most interesting and impressive collection of comments that Franklin was able to put in this compendium. While many are ascribed to Franklin, he specifically does not take credit for the adages himself. Rather, he indicates that they are commonly utilized comments and expressions of the vernacular.

The individual enticements cover all areas of thought and society. He was able to capture these moments of brilliance and publish them so that they are available for all time. Such common phrases and expressions are recognizable to most readers. When Franklin says, "You can bear your own Faults, and why not a Fault in your Wife?" the reader sees these as aphorisms that are applicable as well in 2006 as they were when he published them back in the 18th Century.

While Franklin may not have penned all these witticisms personally, he surely did massage them through his brilliant mind. Such comments as "Time is an herb that cures all diseases" and "Better slip with Foot than Tongue" are metaphors that all could have come up with, but Franklin was the one who wrote them down for all time. In fact, the reader can open virtually any page in the book and find something that is applicable to whatever situation is at hand.

The book is an essential part of all reader's libraries. It is recommended for every and all serious readers.

5 out of 5 stars Quote Book From a Sage, September 5, 2003

By Kendal B. Hunter (Provo, UT United States) (TOP 500 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)    

This review is from: Wit and Wisdom from Poor Richard's Almanack (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)

Franklin is the American Merlin. He is scientist, sage, and savant. This book is a collocation of his proverbs from "Poor Richard's Almanac." It reads like a typical quote book, but it goes deeper. Franklin has wisdom tempered with humor and a gift for coining gold phrases. I recommend it for any fan of Covey's "Seven Habits" or Allen's "As A Man Thinketh." You return to the ancient virtues that made those ancient so interesting.

One of the gems in this [book] is the list of [Franklin’s] personal virtues. Both Steven Covey and Hyrum M. Smith of Franklin Planners based their research in this plan for perfection. Get your children inculcated with these virtues of an authentic genius and patriot. They and we need all the help we can get.

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