I absolutely love history. Always did, Always will. How about you? So, you know Benjamin Franklin right? Ol’ Ben wrote Poor Richard’s Almanack from 1732 to 1758. Ben was quite the modern man. An amazing combo of Senator, Walt Whitman, Ann Landers, Alan Greenspan, Dr Ruth and James Patterson all in one. Oh, my gosh! Imagine how he would score on jeopardy man! Ben was the Ryan Seacrest of his day! The man of a thousand jobs. Who would have thunk! Hey, his Almanack was a Best Seller at the time. Around 10,000 copies a year. By todays standards, it takes over a million copies of any book to be best seller. Since our population is now 300 million residents, give or take a few illegals, so the best seller status is pretty much the same. The Almanack was THE major source of information, wit and wisdom. Everything you needed to start your own country. So, considering there was only 1 million people in all the colonies at the time, that means just about everyone was reading it or talking about it and learning from it. Can you imagine a time when good ol’ Ben was the talk of this country and NOT Lindsay Lohan? Well, there is another story for another time.
The Almanack contained the calendar, weather, poems, sayings and astronomical and astrological information that a typical almanac of the period would contain. Franklin also included the occasional mathematical exercise, and the Almanack from 1750 features an early example of demographics. It is chiefly remembered, however, for being a repository of Franklin’s aphorisms and proverbs, many of which live on in American English. These maxims typically counsel thrift and courtesy, with a dash of cynicism.
In the spaces that occurred between noted calendar days, Franklin included proverbial sentences about industry and frugality. Several of these sayings were borrowed from an earlier writer, Lord Halifax, many of whose aphorisms sprang from, “….a basic skepticism directed against the motives of men, manners, and the age.” In 1757, Franklin made a selection of these and prefixed them to the almanac as the address of an old man to the people attending an auction. This was later published as, The Way to Wealth, and was popular in both America and England.
Anyway, I just found a book by Tom Blair. Titled “Poorer Richard’s America” . If you have read this book share your thoughts with us. Was Ben right in his thinking and how would his perceptions relate to us?
“In this ambitious book by Tom Blair, Poorer Richard s America, Mr. Blair skillfully weaves his own thoughts on financial excesses, national will, journalism, entertainment, generational legacies and the popular culture with the real and imagined reflections of his hero, Benjamin Franklin.”
—From the Foreword by Tom Brokaw
What would Ben Franklin say if he could see us today?
*For decades, Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack provided sage advice and commentary on eighteenth-century America. Now, a modern businessman reflects—writing as Benjamin Franklin—on what America has become.
Federal and personal debt are ballooning beyond sustainable levels. Our futures are being jeopardized. Partisan bickering and the entrenched powers of special interests have made it nearly impossible for a real leader to lead. Where is a good American to turn? How about to the man who wrote this timeless observation: “A small leak will sink a great ship”?
Ben is back! With his signature intelligence and wit (not to mention a good sprinkling of aphorisms both old and new), Benjamin Franklin, through Tom Blair, moves from the national deficit to Wall Street, from health care to marital bliss. The result is electrifying.
This book is available at Barnes&Noble.com for $9.86.