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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Paperback – 17 Jul 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (17 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1628737360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1628737363
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.1 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,712,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Relive history with this one-of-a-kind, firsthand account by a man who overcame slavery and became a beacon of hope to all.

About the Author

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was an American social reformer, orator, writer, statesman-and former slave. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement and stood as a living counterexample to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual function as independent American citizens. In order to eloquently portray his life as a slave, he wrote three autobiographies: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and Freedom, and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alison on 27 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
I wanted to read this book, it had been recommended by an American friend who said that it was prescribed reading in US schools. I am writing a book about a mixed race person and wanted to gain some insight into what it was actually like for real people living as slaves on the plantations.
The narrative is extremely well written, had Frederick Douglass had a modern education he may have had an academic career; however Black people would not have had him to speak up for the unbelievable cruelty which slaves had to endure. I knew that slaves were whipped but not to the extent and certainly not in the ways described by him.
The book was excellent in regard to value and I will read it again in the future.
His narrative is such an influence that many Academics have studied it and at the start of the book there are many comments which should be read again after completing the reading of it.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Aug 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a great book, and I feel everyone should read it. Iwasn't forced to read, but I chose to read it on my own in order to better understand the nation's injustices. Douglass' first hand account of slavery is one of the best sources. His writing isn't wordy or difficult to understand, either.
Great man, great book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Hopper VINE VOICE on 30 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
A wonderfully evocative account by this former slave of his sufferings, his self-education and growing sense of self-worth and dignity prior to his successful bid for freedom in 1838 (he withholds details of his escape in this first version of his autogiography, so as not to make it harder for other slaves to escape by the same route from Maryland to New York). The author is a very good writer, with a straightforward, yet powerful and moving prose style The white man's view that the black slave is less than human and a mere chattel comes across very clearly in numerous incidents, as does the hypocrisy of much of 19th century American Christianity in upholding the slave regime. A great read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By conjunction on 24 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a brief life story, written in 1845, by an ex-slave. At the time of writing he was technically an escaped slave. He later had his freedom bought for him by some English people.

Douglass is a very intelligent, brave and resourceful man and he describes slavery in Maryland, a state supposedly kinder to slaves than the deep South.

Apart from the horror of the living conditions and treatment, what stands out for me is his denunciation of the Christian society which the slaveowners subscribed to. This is in the Appendix, which I think some editions don't have. (The Penguin does). According to Douglass the more pious they were, the more likely to be cruel. I hasten to add Douglass himself was a Christian too. Towards the end of the book is a long quotation from the New Testament about Philistines and hypocrites.

It's powerful stuff.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Jun 1999
Format: Paperback
I Read Douglass for an assignment in my college U.S. History class, and was almost dreading opening this book afraid that Douglass would blame every white person for his torment. Instead I found that Douglass knew the difference between the slave owners and the people who were trying to stop the practice. I finished this book in a matter of days, and respect Douglass as the extreamly brave man that he was. The paper I wrote reflected my outrage that such an occurance could have happened in this beautiful country.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 April 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an absolutely amazing narrative, of the growth of an individual from the most brutish of slave lives to a free man who took pride in his work and his mind, which he then bent to political action. While told as a story, this book is actually an essay on personal struggle and development: to respect himself, to change his circumstances, to be re-born. At that, it is extremely powerful and moving. The reader empathizes completely with his rage, his awakening, and his striving to grow. He came to the point where he would rather fight back than die slowly, never to be dominated in his spirit.

But it also points to the effect of slavery on their owners. While there are the standard cruel and selfish ones, who are attempting to "break" his spirit in order to domesticate him, the story of how it twists the souls of essentially good people that is the most interesting and shocking. It is like a sickness, their total and unresponsible power, that extingusihes their empathy and replaces it with the most horrible selfishness, as they debase themselves with cruelty. You get the whippings and routine humilations, but also what that does to the perpetrators. This means that the book never descends into stereotypes, but reads as an extremely fresh story by a thoughtful, indeed brilliant, man.

THere are also many interesting asides, which are often philosophical. He points out the hypocrisy of southern christians, who make the worst and most cruel and self-righteous slavers, all while justifying their behavior by the bible.
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By Chantal Speed on 17 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought it to study it for my American Literature class in University. It is amazing, and you can learn so much from it. Really powerful and moving narrative.
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