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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave: Written by Himself (Yale Nota Bene) Paperback – 16 Mar 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; New edition edition (16 Mar. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300087012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300087017
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.3 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 943,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Douglass escaped slavery in 1838 and became a tireless campaigner for abolitionism. This autobiography lays bare the realities of slavery in antebellum America. The eloquence of Douglass' writing, with an immediacy and honesty found shocking at the time, make this an invaluable record of one of humanity's most shameful acts. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The most enlightening book I have ever read about the horrific plight of slaves before the American Civil War. This autobiography is to the point, honestly written and very interesting, without being sensationalising. It's a pity this book is not made compulsory reading in schools.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How can you not read this book if you want to know about the struggle against slavery in the USA? Frederick Douglass was a remarkable man, clear sighted and determined, and the only reservation I had was that he seemed to tone down his comments about the complicity of organized religion and most of its adherents in the maintenance of slavery. Perhaps he did that to try and build the anti-slavery movement but I cannot see that such backtracking can ever work. The Church of England owned slave plantations in the West Indies and the failure to confront such an abomination at the time just helped the C of E to continue to this day investing in the perpetuation of misery and the toleration of racism and other nasty attitudes amongst its congregations. Douglass was one step from castigating all religion as a sponsor of slavery, and he should have taken that step. Racism continues to this day in the USA as in Britain and, despite the role of non-conformist ministers in the Civil Rights movement, I'm sure most of the racist bigots today continue to go to church, and that their church happily accepts their presence. However, this tale of Frederick Douglass' long road to freedom is utterly moving and magnificent.
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A harrowing account of not just the notion of slavery, but the toll it took on the victims, both emotionally and physically. It can be a tough read at times for a modern reader due to the long winded language but worth sticking with. Certainly if you go for the free download on kindle you will have no complaints.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This turned out to be a fascinating, if painful journey of Frederick Douglass, born into American slavery during the 1800's.
Frederick shows immense courage, enduring the harsh reality of every day life on his Master's farm. His fortitude of character and sharp perception give him the edge when it comes to dealing with unjust owners, and the desire for a better life keeps him striving towards an almost impossible dream - freedom.

Written with a surprising eloquence and gentle honesty, Frederick reveals the shocking truth of the poor slave workers conditions, and just how far their 'respectable', often Christian white owners are prepared to go to keep it that way.
I was left with a warmth and respect for this intelligent, inspiring man, who seemed to harbour no bitterness towards his fellow man, despite the barbarity he had both witnessed and endured. Frederick also helped fight the injustices of others, including the vote for women.
A concise book of ninety nine pages, but well worth reading, and difficult to put down.
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