- Series: Bedford Series in History and Culture
- Paperback: 188 pages
- Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's; 2nd edition (December 25, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312257376
- ISBN-13: 978-0312257378
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2,184 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, Written by Himself (Bedford Series in History and Culture) 2nd Edition
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up-This classic text in both American literature and American history is read by Pete Papageorge with deliberation and simplicity, allowing the author's words to bridge more than 160 years to today's listeners. Following a stirring preface by William Lloyd Garrison (who, nearly 20 years after he first met Douglass, would himself lead the black troops fighting from the North in the Civil War), the not-yet-30-year-old author recounts his life's story, showing effective and evocative use of language as well as unflinchingly examining many aspects of the Peculiar Institution of American Slavery. Douglass attributes his road to freedom as beginning with his being sent from the Maryland plantation of his birth to live in Baltimore as a young boy. There, he learned to read and, more importantly, learned the power of literacy. In early adolescence, he was returned to farm work, suffered abuse at the hands of cruel overseers, and witnessed abuse visited on fellow slaves. He shared his knowledge of reading with a secret "Sunday school" of 40 fellow slaves during his last years of bondage. In his early 20's, he ran away to the North and found refuge among New England abolitionists. Douglass, a reputed orator, combines concrete description of his circumstances with his own emerging analysis of slavery as a condition. This recording makes his rich work available to those who might feel encumbered by the printed page and belongs as an alternative in all school and public library collections.
Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"Having consistently used the book for almost a decade, I can say that it remains the most popular of my required books. The introduction places Douglass in a historical context comprehensible to undergraduates and offers students shrewd insights into how he drafted his autobiography."
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Top customer reviews
My only complaint is that he did not give any details about his escape from slavery so that slaveholders would not be prepared to stop slaves from escaping using that method that Frederick used. This makes sense, but it is still a little anti-climatic.
This is also a story of dominance of women. The author illustrates that regardless of the times, sexual abuse is a matter of control more than pleasure. Ms. Jacobs's master often used financial interest to justify his control but his obsession with Ms. Jacobs seemed obviously a matter of mere control and power which is something that still resonates today.
But, the book also shows that some people are compassionate regardless of their status and white privilege, giving hope in humanity.