Summary of The Way to Wealth Benjamin Franklin, Looking for the book

Franklin drew extensively on proverbs that praised virtue and industry, but he was not uncritical of the relation between them. Virtue was easier for the rich than the poor. To make that point, Poor Richard in 1740 quoted nearly verbatim from a well-known book of proverbs: “An empty Bag cannot stand upright.” In the 1750 almanac Franklin rewrote this proverb, expanding it from six words to 24, not in order to improve it but to fill an available space. He recycled it again in the preface to his 1758 almanac, which was itself recycled endlessly as The Way to Wealth. Finally he returned to it at the end of his life in the third part of his autobiography, in the passage quoted above, as an example of how he used proverbs in his almanacs.

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Benjamin Franklin (a.k.a “Poor Richard”) was also well known for his advice on attaining health, wealth, and wisdom. Included here are his seminal The Way to Wealth and Advice (pp. 97-125) and Advice to a Young Tradesman (pp. 126-130).


Benjamin Franklin Writer and Printer: The Way to Wealth

“Rather go to bed without dinner than to rise in debt,” Franklin wrote in his 1758 essay “The Way to Wealth



-Ben Franklin first saw himself in print at age 16, writing his controversial, feminist "Silence Dogood" letters, published anonymously in his brother's newspaper, The New England Courant.

-He wrote "The Way to Wealth" for the 25th anniversary issue in his Almanac, the first issue of which, under the fictitious editorship of "Richard Saunders", appeared in 1733.