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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – Unabridged, April 13, 1995


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1080L (What's this?)
  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Unabridged edition (April 13, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486284999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486284996
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Frederick Douglass (1818 1895) was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining renown for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves did not have the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. He became a major speaker for the cause of abolition. In addition to his oratory, Douglass wrote several autobiographies, eloquently describing his life as a slave, and his struggles to be free. His classic autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, is one of the best known accounts of American slavery. After the Civil War, Douglass remained very active in America's struggle to reach its potential as a "land of the free". Douglass actively supported women's suffrage. Following the war, he worked on behalf of equal rights for freedmen, and held multiple public offices. Douglass was a firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant. He was fond of saying, "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It's a very easy read too!
Skyla R. Mcneal
A subversive read, I would recommend it to everyone.
Lefty
He is a man of great courage and perseverance.
stanton salerno

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By James Yanni on December 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Anyone who wishes to be considered at all educated in the history of the United States MUST read this book. The period of this history is absolutely critical to an understanding of the country both before and after that time, as well, obviously, as during that time. And without reading the account of this great American of his experiences, one can not, truly, understand that time period.
Granted, there will be those who will argue, "But why should we need to read an anti-slavery tract; there's no one alive now who would argue in favor of slavery, or deny that it was a great evil. To read a book whose primary purpose was to convince people of what is now considered obvious is pointless." But the same argument could be used to apply to reading a biography of George Washington, or Thomas Jefferson. Most of the issues that were important to them are currently decided, and decided in their favor. Yet it is still considered neccessary for an educated American to have at least a passing idea of the history of their lives.
The same is true of Frederick Douglass. The man risked his life for freedom, just as surely as did Patrick Henry, or any of the founding fathers, and his history is just as much a part of this country as theirs is; further, it is worth seeing just how literate a man born in slavery, not only self-taught, but self-taught on the sly, against every effort of his oppressors to stifle his education, can be. His facility for language is frankly better than 90% of modern Americans of any color, in spite of virtually universal education. He was a great man, and deserves to be recognized as such.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Mcgranaghan on September 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent narrative from a slave of the highest acumen. This books details the oppression that Douglass went through before he finally escaped to freedom.
Douglass wrote several autobiographies, but this is the most read. This narrative is in a genre that was popular with abolitionists in the pre-war north. The reader should note that most of the narratives written at that time had a rigid caste, so Douglass' narrative is not as original as it might seem. In his later autobiographies he contradicts some important events in this narrative. However, with that said, it is still a book of the highest order. I gave the book 5 stars because it is truly a masterpiece, in both writing and theme, and therefore should be read by all who can. I've recommended this book to my friends and they all agree. The Dover edition is only about 80 pages long, so it can easily be read in one or two sittings.
One more caveat; if you are interested in learning about how Douglass escaped to freedom, this is not the book. I was a little disappointed because Douglass did not give any details about his escape to New York. The book was published in pre-war America, and he could not risk exposing those who had helped him to the general public. Nevertheless, this book is gripping and will hold you till the very end.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Blaine Greenfield on December 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
Heard NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS (Recorded Books), written by Douglass and read by Charles Turner.It is the story of a man born into the world as a slave. He would have died a slave, too, had he not taught himself to read and write . . . and then made the decision that one day, he would be free from slavery.His did eventually escape from bondage, going on to become one of the abolition movement’s most persuasive speakers. In addition, Douglass became a strong backer for women’s rights.NARRATIVE had me cringing, at times, with respect to how anybody could have been treated in such a brutal way–and how the practice was allowed for so long in this country. Overall, it moved me more than 12 YEARS A SLAVE–the film currently out that covers much the same topic.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Sexton on September 21, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I believe that this autobiography can best be summed up by a quote in the middle of the book: "You have seen how a man becomes a slave. You will now see how a slave becomes a man."
As a small child, Douglass overhears his master berating his mistress because she was trying to teach the boy to read. Douglass realizes that his master wants to keep him ignorant. From that point on he vows to become the best man he can possibly become, and to become his own Master. His challenges as a child are simpler; tricking other children into playing Alphabet games so that he may slowly learn to read. As he becomes older, his challenges become more complex and dangerous; dealing with the Slave Breaker, a man that uses brutality to condition slaves into complete submission. When it suits his needs, Douglass allows his oppressors to believe his is defeated, but he never allows anyone to take his humanity or dignity. The reader travels with Douglass on his quest from the moment he is separated from his mother as an infant, to his days beginning in the abolitionists movement.
It is unfortunate that Douglass was unable to write of the details of his final escape from slavery because he was still worried about exposing those who assisted him in his flight.
Douglas also does an excellent job of demonstrating how slavery is also destructive to the spirit of those who practice slavery. We meet not only the Master and the Slave Breaker, but we also meet kind and loving women who eventually become hardened and cruel after being forced to accept their fellow man as only chattel.
Everyone should read this short book at least once in their lives. It is important to experience a first hand account of the past evils of our society.
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