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JAMA Revisited
June 23/30, 2015

CorrespondenceBen Franklin’s Views

JAMA. 2015;313(24):2499. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.11814

To the Editor:—The extract from the “Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” (Miscellany, The Journal, June 5, 1915, p. 1933) gives a mistaken idea of the habits of our first American philosopher as regards his use of alcohol. Early in life as an impecunious printer’s devil he may have been as abstemious as is asserted, but with the access of fortune and fame he certainly indulged more freely in “that muddling liquor” which he condemns. This is only an example of the not uncommon failing which he shared with less famous mortals in not always squaring his practice with his preaching.

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