Autobiographies

by Frederick Douglass

Hardcover, 1994

Status

Available

Publication

New York : Library of America : Distributed to the trade in the U.S. by Penguin Books, c1994.

Description

"Born a slave, Frederick Douglass educated himself, escaped, and made himself one of the greatest leaders in American history. His three autobiographical narratives, collected here in one volume, are now recognized as classics of both American history and American literature. Writing with the eloquence and fierce intelligence that made him a brilliantly effective spokesman for abolition and equal rights, Douglass shapes an inspiring vision of self-realization in the face of monumental odds. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave (1845), published seven years after his escape, was written in part as a response to skeptics who refused to believe that so articulate an orator could ever have been a slave. A powerfully compressed account of the cruelty and oppression of the Maryland plantation culture into which Douglass was born, it brought him to the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and drew thousands, black and white, to the cause." "In My Bondage and My Freedom (1855), written after he had established himself as a newspaper editor, Douglass expands the account of his slavery years. With astonishing psychological penetration, he probes the painful ambiguities and subtly corrosive effects of black-white relations under slavery; and goes on to account his determined resistance to segregation in the North. The book also incorporates extracts from Douglass' renowned speeches, including the searing "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?"" "Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, first published in 1881, records Douglass' efforts to keep alive the struggle for racial equality in the years following the Civil War. Now a socially and politically prominent figure, he looks back, with a mixture of pride and bitterness; on the triumphs and humiliations of a unique public career. John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, and Harriet Beecher Stowe are all featured prominently in this chronicle of a crucial epoch in American history. The revised edition of 1893, presented here, includes an account of his controversial diplomatic mission to Haiti." "This volume contains a detailed chronology of Douglass' life, notes providing further background on the events and people mentioned, and an account of the textual history of each of the autobiographies."--Jacket.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member lanewillson
I knew of Fredrick Douglass as a historical figure, which is to say, I really knew virtually nothing abut the man. Daughter Hannah gave me Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln for Christmas, and that along with the 150 year anniversary of the Civil War has led me to read several
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different subjects. Reading a slave's experience from one who has suffered its suffocation is vastly different than writer whose understanding of slavery is merely the knowledge of its history. Douglass, not separated from slavery be time or experience,tells a story that more than 150 years later, carries the horror of his time as chattel.
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LibraryThing member JVioland
A must read for any student of American history. It shows why Douglass will always remain one of the greatest Americans, black or white.
LibraryThing member annbury
A good book, which has all of Douglass' bios, starting with the overview published in 1844 and the more complete version, published in 1855 and finally one that I skipped, published in 1882. Douglass is a remarkable person: he hates slavery from the beginning and has great comments on how the
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slaveholders maintain their grip. He refuses to say anything about his escape to the North because he was afraid that the slaveholders would read about it and prevent many slaves from using the same methods.
The book also touches on the racism found in the North, and treats it well., although why Douglass should have not minded the race prejudice that afflicts us stlll is not explored. There s also a compelling description of the fight that Douglass had with a famous slave trainer. The man loved Abe Lincoln and has some good comments on him.

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s would read it and prevent others from using it.
In this regard he is quite right.
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Language

Local notes

Library of America

Barcode

11807

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