cover image Ben Franklin: America's Original Entrepreneur

Ben Franklin: America's Original Entrepreneur

Blaine McCormick, . . Entrepreneur, $26.95 (266pp) ISBN 978-1-932531-68-8

Although this modernized version of Franklin's autobiography achieves its goal of sharing business lessons, it also serves as an accessible—if abbreviated—portrait of the entrepreneur, statesman, scientist and inventor. The author, associate dean for undergraduate programs at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business (and a Franklin scholar), has updated Franklin's 300-year-old text, revising the language and syntax and rearranging some stories so they appear in chronological order. He divides the work into three chunks: Franklin's first 20 years; his years as a Philadelphia printer through his retirement from business in 1748; and his move into the public sphere, as he applied his business know-how to civic, military and diplomatic projects. Each of the 82 short chapters features an introduction contextualizing the events. Some lessons are of the moral variety (honesty is a necessity in all endeavors); others pertain to development (expose yourself to a wide variety of jobs; Franklin worked for his father's candle business, enjoyed watching talented craftsmen at work and toyed with small machines for his science experiments); many are more traditionally business-minded (on partnerships, for example, Franklin advises "clearly defining the roles and expectations of each partner at the very beginning"). History buffs with business interests will enjoy this entertaining, informative account. (Oct.)