Provides an enormous amount of new information and thorough documentation.
(New York Times Book Review
Biography at its best, bolstered by impressive bits of historical detective work.
(American Historical Review
Describing from local documents the setting and society in which the runaway rebel grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore and in Baltimore, Preston presents Douglass's family roots and the persons around him from his birth in 1818 until his escape in 1838. Throughout he shows what lay behind the spectacular rise of the slave boy into a free and world-famous man.
A model of historiographic detective work, this engaging study reveals some things about Douglass's background that he did not know himself.
(George M. Fredrickson New York Review of Books