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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Paperback – Unabridged, April 13, 1995
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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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"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." --Amazon customer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Jacobs's words spoke to my heart particularly because I could relate to her as a girl, as a daughter, as a woman, and as a mother. Through her words, slavery was no longer an abstract concept in a history textbook; it became so very real. In one part of the book, she wrote, "Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women." While I don't want to discount the suffering of men, that statement resonated with me as I read it. I don't know the suffering of men nor do I pretend to know it, so perhaps it is unfair to compare. But I can identify and relate to the suffering of women. My heart was wrenched in unimaginable ways. I have never read or heard of anything else so abhorrent. By the end of the first chapter, I was in tears, and that was the chapter about her happy childhood.
I never before realized the extent of the human injustices committed under the institution of slavery. And now after reading this book, I feel enlightened -- a little more educated and a little less ignorant. In some ways, I feel that this book is a must read for every American just for basic historical knowledge, but in particular, I think it should be read by women. It's a hard book to digest for all of its pain and suffering, but I think it's an important chapter of our nation's history that should not be neglected.
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