Benjamin Franklin: An American Life - Chapter Five Summary & Analysis

Walter Isaacson
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Chapter Five Summary and Analysis

Chapter Five examines Franklin's first years as a public citizen, 1731-1748. He is civic-minded and "more interested in building the City of Man than the City of God" (p. 102). Franklin believes that individualism and communitarianism are intertwined and needed for survival. The Library Company of Philadelphia is started in the Junto when Franklin suggests members bring books to the meetings so others can use them. While the Junto is mostly poor tradesmen, the Library Company allows Franklin to interact with the town's upper class. Franklin often writes under pseudonyms in his paper to try out new ideas for public service. This is how the Union Fire Company comes into existence: a volunteer fire company and social club. He also founds the American Philosophical Society and the Pennsylvania Militia. Upward mobility is a mission of Franklin's and becomes part of...

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This section contains 420 words
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Buy the Benjamin Franklin: An American Life Study Guide
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