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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (original 1845; edition 1995)

by Frederick Douglass (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,580691,047 (3.95)94
Member:Dilara86
Title:Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Authors:Frederick Douglass (Author)
Info:Kindle free edition
Collections:Your library, E-books, Read by Dilara in 2012
Rating:****
Tags:autobiography, slavery, black studies, history, racism, African American, US history, non-fiction, POC, famous POC

Work details

Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave by Frederick Douglass (1845)

  1. 10
    The Life of Josiah Henson: Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada by Josiah Henson (HistReader)
    HistReader: Both men discuss their treatment and lifestyle under subjection as slaves.
  2. 00
    The Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African by Olaudah Equiano (joririchardson)
  3. 01
    To Be a Slave by Julius Lester (jacqueline065)
    jacqueline065: If your enjoyed the poignant narrative of Frederick Douglass, you will be moved by the perserved accounts of slave life in this book.
  4. 01
    The Mind of Frederick Douglass by Waldo E. Jr. Martin (eromsted)
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Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
Very short & to the point, Douglass paints the picture of being a slave better than any other book I've read on the subject. His first hand account blows away 'Roots' or even the 'Confessions of Nat Turner' with its simple, understated prose. Huge thanks to Nancy, a friend here on GR, that recommended & gave me the book.

Why would a man remain in slavery when there was any chance of escape? This is a question I've always wondered about. He tells us. The courage & determination that it took him to make that leap was incredible. His simple account of what people can endure is heart wrenching.

The only reason this book didn't get 5 stars was the editor. I can't recall his name, but he is a professor at Columbia University & must think his audience is a bunch of idiots. His long winded introduction basically tells Douglass' entire story. It was a spoiler & redundant. The original publication had another introduction that is also included. This was doubly redundant due to the first, but would have been far better if just it was included.

The editor's constant footnotes, defining well known words that are well used in context, were distracting & occasionally incorrect. The end notes were better, but should have been footnotes instead. I was left with the impression that the editor was trying to impress me rather than help me understand Douglass' story. Blech!

Douglass has written his autobiography in several versions. This was his first. I'd be interested in finding a later one, especially with a different editor. In any case, for all the faults of the editor, the basic story is something that I recommend everyone read. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
I purchased this book with the intent of using an excerpt of it in class to show students the importance of knowing how to read and write.

I waited too long over the summer, and didn't get around to reading it until a week before school started. It's a quick read, about 100 pages. I tried at first only to skim through it, looking only for something to use in class. But I got caught up. I had to stop skimming, go back to the beginning and read the entire thing. (Didn't take long, as it is short.)

Thinking about this book, and how Douglass overcame his obstacles...well, I've decided to not 'skim' it, but buy a copy for my students, and it will be the first book that we read. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
I purchased this book with the intent of using an excerpt of it in class to show students the importance of knowing how to read and write.

I waited too long over the summer, and didn't get around to reading it until a week before school started. It's a quick read, about 100 pages. I tried at first only to skim through it, looking only for something to use in class. But I got caught up. I had to stop skimming, go back to the beginning and read the entire thing. (Didn't take long, as it is short.)

Thinking about this book, and how Douglass overcame his obstacles...well, I've decided to not 'skim' it, but buy a copy for my students, and it will be the first book that we read. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
A simple read for history buffs. This book offers a glimpse into the life of Fredrick Douglas, not a full biography, but an idea of where he came from and how he was prepared for the role he would play later in life. ( )
  mgeorge2755 | May 13, 2014 |
The Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass is a paradigm-shifting autobiography that delivers a firsthand account of the horrific injustices that Douglass experienced while enslaved in the American south. Upon first glance it is possible to miss the significance of the cover text, which states, “written by himself,” but within a few pages it becomes clear that knowledge was the spark that ignited Douglass’ quest for freedom.

Douglass’ descriptions of the dehumanizing conditions through which he lived are difficult to read, and furthermore, the narrative poses larger questions about humanity that are impossible to untangle; yet, still there is hope in his story. Somehow, in the midst of the terrors that surrounded him, Douglass continued to find reasons to persevere toward freedom.

The major turning point of the book occurs when Douglass refuses to be whipped. “You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall now see how a slave was made a man.” (52). From this moment on, his transformation and influence reaches awe-inspiring peaks. For reasons of safety, the details of his actual escape to freedom are left undocumented, but in many ways, his arrival in New York is just the beginning of his journey.

I’m incredibly interested to dig further into his writings as a free abolitionist and would be honored to teach this book in my class someday. This is a critical piece of American literature, and I cannot believe it took me this long to read it. ( )
  JeffCarver | Feb 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frederick Douglassprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blight, David W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gomes, Peter J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I was born in Tuckahoe, near Hillsborough, and about twelve miles from Easton, in Talbot country, Maryland.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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AR 7.9, 7 Pts
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486284999, Paperback)

The impassioned abolitionist and eloquent orator provides graphic descriptions of his childhood and horrifying experiences as a slave as well as a harrowing record of his dramatic escape to the North and eventual freedom. Published in 1845 to quell doubts about his origins, the Narrative is admired today for its extraordinary passion, sensitive descriptions, and storytelling power. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:22 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Perhaps the most powerful and influential black American of his time, Frederick Douglass, cmbodied the tumultuous social changes that transfored the united States during the nineteenth century. In a career of unprecedented breadth, Douglass rose from the oppression of his slave's birth to fame for Abolitionist.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

Legacy Library: Frederick Douglass

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Three editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Yale University Press

Two editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300087012, 0300088310

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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