“The Way to Wealth” was not really about wealth as we think of it today. Its message was about how to accumulate enough to have material security, personal independence, and social respectability. The means to do so were basically hard work and frugality. Franklin’s text, largely consisting of maxims of Poor Richard within the framework of a simple story, was about how to get along in this world. It has been termed the source of the American dream, because Franklin, through this text and the example of his own life, showed that if you lived by Poor Richard’s maxims, you would get ahead. Success was in your own hands. Europeans believed “The Way to Wealth” had shaped the character of the American people more so than any other printed work.