Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

by Frederick Douglass


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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Illustrated + FREE audiobook link + Active TOC) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
HistoryGuySP More than 1 year ago
I am a high school Social Studies teacher. Each year when I teach about the Reform Period (1820-1860), I require my students to read the "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass." The abolitionist movement is the most visible element of the Reform Period, and Douglass is a giant among men in the movement. If you want to learn about what life was really like for African Americans trapped in the institution of slavery then this is your book. When my classes read this book, we read one chapter a day for eleven consecutive days. The book is not all that lengthy, and when presented in this fashion it allows them the opportunity to slowly filter all of what Douglass is relating about his topic. Douglass does an excellent job of getting his readers to understand how "ignorance" is used as a tool of slavery. He also vividly conveys how male and female slaves alike are victimized by their masters. Lastly, and most importantly I believe, he conveys how slavery creates a perversion of Christianity. This book is a classic and more Americans should find time to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read yhis book for summer reading and i loved it. I reccomend to anyone wondering how it was to be faced with impossible situations and overcome them with just the right mind set. Just great!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was the most intriguing book about Fredric Douglas.It is a great read and I hope that other young people become involved with learning more about a man like Fredric Douglas. -Caiti
AnnieBM More than 1 year ago
Douglass' poignantly recounts his life as a slave and his coming to freedom. Throughout his Narrative he demonstrates a sensitivity to himself and to those around him including insight into human behavior and its effects on character. In his appendix Douglass clarifies his comments concerning religion -- Christianity -- words which resonant even today. This Narrative is more than historically significant and an unveiling the reality of American slavery. It portrays much of the psychological impact of slavery on slaveholders as well as slaves, provides an insightful critique of religious practice and justification, and shares generously of his journey to claim freedom and manhood. I consider this a must read for citizenship for all Americans. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book allows you to go into the deepest darkest thoughts of an american slave as Frederick Douglass vividly and intensively describes the lifestyle of a slave in both the south and the north. The book allows the reader to get a point of view on why slavery should have been ended from a slave who unfortunately had to participate in the harmful acts of slavery. From the beginning of the book to the end, Frederick Douglass does a fantastic job at proving that African Americans at the time could indeed be knowledgeable  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this account of Fredrick Douglas' life solid and thoroughly written. It should be required reading in all schools and a research guide for anyone seeking insight into, not only Mr. Douglas' life, but also what life was like for African American's at this time in American history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The most authentic look at past events is through the eyes of someone who lived it. Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland and illegally taught himself to read and write. He escaped and 20 years before the Civil War he wrote of his personal experiences in an attempt to open people's eyes and hearts to the plight of his brethern who were, literally, in chains. If you want to understand where we are now by seeing where we've come from, this clear, consise account of slavery is highly recommended.
mom2McKenna More than 1 year ago
Frederick Douglass was elegant and eloquent. When you give serious consideration to the incredible circumstances he overcame to achieve success in the 1800s, it is truly impressive and inspiring. He wrote with honesty and honor. It is a shame that most Americans know nothing of this man or his works. Whether you are history buff or not, everyone should read this book as there are lessons to be learned by us all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It gave me an important look into American history. It is a story that we can all learn from, and that everyone should have a chance to read.
Anonymous 11 months ago
bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is Douglass¿ actual account of his time as a slave and his escape. It¿s heartbreaking to think of all he went through and then to remember that this happened to thousands of slaves. I was amazed by his strong will and determination; it never faltered. No matter what happened to him, he failed to break. His ¿masters¿ are the ones who gave up in the end. He was such a brave individual, they didn¿t want to cross him and lose face in front of their other slaves. One of the most astounding things in the book is that Douglass gives no details of his actual escape. He says he can¿t explain how he did it because he might be giving away an escape route another slave is about to take. This really drove home the point that he wrote this when slavery was still very active. What an incredibly courageous man. Even though he was born into slavery, at no point did he say, well this is just my life. He looked at his impossible situation and thought, how can I change this? It was inspiring! If he can change his life, in that time period, what excuse do we have?
touchthesky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Definitely the most interesting and intriguing autobiography. I had to read this for one of my college history classes and was surprised that it wasn't boring at all. Douglass' writing is beautiful.
teagueamania on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the most worthwhile American history books you can read, written by a completely self-taught slave, who reveals our current education system as a farce, much as he did the governmental, religious, and social structure of his time for accepting chattel slavery. Short and easy to find free online.
meggyweg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had to read this for a college history class, but I would have read it for pleasure too. I can certainly why it is a classic. Douglass's story, like all slave narratives, is compelling, and you have to admire him for what he'd been through and what he accomplished in spite of his origins. On top of all that, he was a genuinely gifted writer. The book is clear, concise and thought-provoking. I would recommend this for high school and up. It's short enough to appeal to those with limited attention spans.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the short biography of Frederick Douglass. He writes about his life as a slave, how his mother died, how he learned to read, how he was beaten and starved, and how he decided to escape. He enlarged on this story later, but in this version of the story, he doesn't give any details of his flight to freedom. But you certainly get a vivid and horrible picture of slavery. I thought his words about the religious hypocrisy of his former masters was especially illuminating.After reading this, I was surprised really that more slaves did not make the attempt to escape. He says that he never had any idea of escape until after he learned to read and realized what else was out there in the world. That may have been one reason. Douglass himself says that he almost changed his mind when he realized that his escape would mean the loss of contact with all his friends. I'm sure that such ties to friends and family was another reason that most slaves stayed put.After reading this, I was motivated to read more about Douglass and what happened to him after he wrote this book. He was a very eloquent, even passionate man fighting for the cause of freedom and equal rights for both women and for slaves. This is a great story for young people to read, as it would help them understand how brutal slavery really was. Also important today, when there are still horrible acts of violence and injustice all around the world.
doowatt34 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I used to hear negative things about frederick bailey, johnson douglas but after reading his first narrative autobiography I thought of him as a brave, intellegent, thought ful and wise young man. I was truly fascinated by the way that he tricked the young boys in his baltimore neighborhood into teaching him how to read, the way he gave his master the beat down of his life, the type of planning that he did to get things done, the strength and courage that it took to stand up to rouge cowards, and his constant analysis of his condition as well as his friends, family and colleagues. Although the total narrative was very focused on the events of his life you cannot help but wonder about other things that made the civilization, look astoundingly backwards.Things such as the proletariate violence, the child abuse, the rape of woman, the wonton murder and the labor practices. By the way the narrative explains the work practices, the freedman, the working class were as much in bondage as the slave. There had to be high unemployment and when the slaves were eventually emancipated everyone who was not wealthy and didn't own anything was without a doubt emancipated also, else headed for the same plight as the people in bondage...I enjoyed this narrative....
deanc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In 1845, only a few years after escaping the clutches of slavery, 27-year-old Frederick Douglass published this poignant account of his life through the auspices of the Anti-Slavery Office of Boston. The book was influential in advancing the cause of abolition in ante-bellum America. He describes his early years as a slave, which includes his account of learning to read by stealth with the help of white school-age boys he met in his Baltimore neighborhood. The more he read the more he learned of the world of freedom and, consequently, the more he yearned to be free. Repeatedly in these pages, Douglass reveals his contempt for so-called ¿Christian¿ slaveholders. He wrote, ¿For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others.¿ He went so far as to say that he could see ¿no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity.¿As with most of the Dover Thrift Editions, this copy does not include an index or footnotes, but that doesn¿t diminish the powerful impact of this little book.
atyson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book has a reputation as one of the most reliable and uncompromised first-person accounts by an American slave - which is why I picked it up. The book was written as a response to scepticism about the author's slave origins due to his literacy. The routine cruelty of slaveholders and their overseers is probably what anyone would now expect to hear. But it is the restrained and level-headed description of this cruelty that really gives the narrative its power. A couple of vivid points the author impressed on me: that slaveholders with pronounced Christian beliefs were invariably the most inhumane; and the sense of isolation and mistrust he found on his escape to 'freedom' in New York. This is surely some kind of definitive contribution to literature of the human condition.
ritabk1966 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Frederick Douglass writes in detail about his early life as a slave and how he was determined to learn to read and escape slavery. It is an inspiring and fascinating read.
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The detail of events was eye opening and theperils of what slaves went through was horrifying. A must read for Black History.