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Narrative of Sojourner Truth (Penguin Classics) Paperback – November 1, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The time is long overdue for a compelling look at the legendary Sojourner Truth. Margaret Washington deserves our gratitude for reclaiming Truth and shedding light on the most enigmatic black woman of the 19th century."

-- Darlene Clark Hine, Professor of History, Michigan State University

About the Author

Sojourner Truth, born Isabella, a slave in Ulster County, New York, around 1797, became an abolitionist, orator, and preacher, and eventually an icon for strong black women. She was emancipated by state law in 1827, and the following year she moved to New York City, where she found work in wealthy households and became increasingly involved in unorthodox religious groups. In the early 1830s she joined the commune or “Kingdom” of the Prophet Matthias. By 1843 she had transformed herself into the itinerant preacher Sojourner Truth, and spent most of the next thirteen years in Northampton, Massachusetts. Illiterate, she dictated her autobiography to her neighbor Olive Gilbert, and the Narrative of Sojourner Truth was published in 1850. The following year Truth set out to promote her book and to speak out on abolition and women’s rights. In the 1870s Truth’s friend and informal manager Frances Titus compiled a new edition of the Narrative, adding the “Book of Life,” a scrapbook comprising essays, articles, and letters from Truth’s contemporary admirers. Truth died in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1883, and the following year Titus published a new edition that included “A Memorial Chapter.”

Nell Irvin Painter is the author of Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol and Standing at Armageddon, the United States, 1877-1919, The Narrative of Hosea Hudson and Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction. She is Edwards Professor of History at Princeton University, where she currently heads the program in African-American Studies.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (November 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140436782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140436785
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #628,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My professor had asked me to buy this book in order for an in-class Assignment..early on I felt disheartened -- thinking to myself - I could very well invest my time in other things of more value..when I began reading the book-- it was quite a journey the narrator took and the fact that it shared many moments in common with the slave journey narratives. Many new themes were introduced about the journey the narrator took.
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Format: Paperback
I thought this book was written a little differently, but I also found it helpful. It was cool how Sojourner Truth's Book of Life was written inside of it along with a whole separate book. There was a lot of good information in it. I used this book for a school project and it worked out great. The book was useful and interesting to read because there are letters from people she knew that were written to her. I enjoyed reading this also recieved info from it.
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Format: Paperback
Appendix- Book Review
The Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Nell Irvin Painter is a great book for all women to read. It is a historical slave narrative but it is unique because it is not based slavery that takes place down south like most slave narratives. This narrative takes place in New York and is about a strong African American women name Isabella who escapes from slavery, changes her name to Sojourner Truth, becomes a preacher, feminist, and famous public speaker.
Reading this book you really get a feel of what I life was like to be an African American women in New York as a slave. But, you also get a feel of how strong women had to be during the time period in which Sojourner Truth lived. She worked everyday in the field and was described as manly-shaped women because of the muscular shape. She had no proper education meaning she could not read or write. She was sold into slavery at the age of 9 years old and liberated in 1817. She married a former slave and rejoiced at the birth of five children.
Despite all of her negative mishaps she found many ways to overcome her difficulties by praying and using the resources she had to survive. I would recommend reading this book if you enjoy reading about legendary African American women who paved the way for many women today.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was well written and very engaging. I bought it so I could finally learn something about our country's shameful treatment of fellow human beings. Reading this book brought tears to my eyes and heart many times. I feel like if the terrorists take over our country, we may well be treated even worse, if that is possible. But for so-called Christian people to be so dreadful to others, while closing their conscience to the scripture is overwhelming. After reading this book, I immediately set out to read Uncle Tom's Cabin; another captivating book filled with unbelievable torture and cruelty, along with prideful slave owners. My own heart is still crying out to the Lord for mercy as I ask Him to help me to show mercy as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Narrative of Sojourner Truth tells the life journey of an African American woman who was a prominent and renowned activist for women's and African Americans' rights and equality. She told her story to a friend and neighbor who wrote this account and first published it in 1850. There have been several updated publications of the original work, now including letters, speech scripts, etc. from Sojourner Truth's life.

This book is still a relevant read for people of all skin colors, all ages, and both genders. The racial and gender issues made apparent by the book, as well as the intense and prominent role Sojourner Truth played as a leader of social advancement, are comparable to leadership situations in today's society. It is also conducive to recognize her actions, motives, and consequences when she was attempting great feats of social change. Much can be learned from this book other than the apparent history lesson.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting story about her life as a slave and how she came out of it to her advantage. Very good story.
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