Frederick Douglass's autobiography, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, "is widely regarded as a classic of American nineteenth-century history, of African-American studies, and of literature. In 1845, just seven years after his escape from slavery, the young Douglass published this powerful account of his life as a slave and his triumph over oppression. The book, which marked the beginning of Douglass's career as an impassioned writer, journalist, and orator for the abolitionist cause, reveals the terrors he faced as a slave, the brutalities of his owners and overseers, and his harrowing escape to the North.
This edition of the book, based on the authoritative text that appears in Yale University Press's multivolume edition of the "Frederick Douglass Papers," is the only edition of Douglass's "Narrative" designated as an Approved Text by the Modern Language Association's Committee on Scholarly Editions. It includes a chronology of Douglass's life, a thorough introduction by the eminent Douglass scholar John Blassingame, historical notes, and reader responses to the first edition of 1845.
"None so dramatically as Douglass integrated both the horror and the great quest of the African-American experience into the deep stream of American autobiography. He advanced and extended that tradition and is rightfully designated one of its greatest practitioners."--John W. Blassingame, from the introduction
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.68" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.52"
Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Feb 8, 2001
Publisher Yale University Press
Availability 6 units.
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|In the wake of the nomination of Barack Obama, this is an excellent look back on what once was Jun 6, 2008|
| As a political junkie, I watch several news and commentary television shows. On the day that Barack Obama was declared the nominee of the Democratic Party for the presidency of the United States, black journalist Eugene Robinson was speaking. He said that we should all stop for a minute and appreciate the significance of this event. In the early 1960's black people had a very difficult time voting and in the southern United States, whites who killed blacks were generally acquitted if brought to trial. Now, there is the very real chance that a black person will be the next president. |
One of the greatest assets Obama has is his incredible gift for speech and communication. He is extremely articulate and is capable of delivering his words in a manner that resonates. I was privileged to attend one of his rallies and was even able to ask him a question.
When blacks were slaves, they were property, nothing more. If their owner was dissatisfied, they could whip or even kill their slaves with impunity. Therefore, to truly appreciate and understand how far things have come in the United States, it is necessary to read some of the descriptions of how slaves were treated.
This is one of the best accounts of the horrors of slavery ever written. Douglass was one of the first articulate blacks to appeal to whites. He was even the vice presidential candidate of the Equal Rights Party in 1872. The presidential candidate was Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president of the United States.
Douglass describes the brutal and indiscriminant treatment that a slave was forced to endure. When a slave showed any sign of independence, the goal of the white supremacists was to break them by any means necessary. Mothers and fathers were separated from their children, food was withheld and physical mistreatment were all weapons in the arsenal of the slave-breaker.
In this moment of the triumph of racial equality, it is an excellent look back to read the writings of Douglass. It gives you a perspective on how truly historic the nomination of Barack Obama is and will continue to be.
|Essential Apr 29, 2008|
|"I expose slavery in this country, because to expose it is to kill it. Slavery is one of those monsters of darkness to whom the light of truth is death." Frederic Douglass |
Frederic Douglass tells us the REAL story about slavery in early America. From the first page to the last, I was totally transfixed. There are so many things to admire about this great American. On top of being brilliant and brave and benevolent and broad-minded, etc... what I truly admire about this amazing soul was the fact that he is able to tell us his story sans bitterness. For let me tell you, if the majority of us had to endure one iota of what this man went through... Let's just say that those saccharine sweet saga's like "Gone with the Wind" left a few pertinent things out!
This is one hell of a powerful story! The brutalities of slavery will disgust you, but to see this beautiful soul rise above it all is something special. He is the most important figure in nineteenth-century black American literature and a man that merits more attention than he gets. This is a magnificient achievement, an important work of art.
Very highly recommended!
|More than one reason to read this book. Dec 22, 2007|
|Douglass' narrative is typically assigned to high school and college classes to provide a more personal, emotional account of slavery that is not typically found in history books. While this is important, I believe reading this Narrative can provide more than an account of the brutalities of slavery (though it certainly does show the brutality). One quote I think encompasses the book: "You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man." I look at this book as more of a character study for Douglass, how he remembers his life and chronicles the changes he goes through. It was also interesting to see how literacy changes not only his mind but his personality. Reading brings knowledge but also pain. If you've read Walter Ong's "Orality and Literacy" this becomes even more apparent and interesting. That aside, Douglass writes a poetic and interesting narrative of his life that I think people should WANT to read rather than feel forced to read. |
|Forgotten American Political Classic, Best Slave Narrative Reading Oct 7, 2007|
|I read this book some years ago and thought it the best American personnal slave narrative ever written.A forerunner of the 20th century's ,'Autobiography of Malcolm X'.This book is sadly forgotten by many,both among black and white educators.Frederick Douglass was more than an "American Moses",he could have been called ,an 'American Frederick Engels'.Douglass had the power of literacy,which the European-American christians always wanted surpressed and restricted for everybody,especially slaves and the church laity.Douglass had the power of knowledge,and the ablity to reason,which in turn leads to a better society.The more freedom of knowledge is restricted by authorities,the more explosive the base of society becomes.The free exchange of ideas has always allowed a democracy to flourish,and inturn a more stable and progressive society,a 'Great Society'.Frederick Douglass' Washingtonian beacon house still stands proudly on the hill overlooking the scenic and political landscape.This book is a short classic narrative,yet still worthy of investing one's time reading today. |
|fantastic reading Jul 31, 2007|
|I love reading about history,part of history that everyone should read about. I would recommend to everyone...|
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