Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass One Of The Greatest Works Of American Autobiography, In A Definitive Library Of America Text Published Seven Years After His Escape From Slavery, Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, An American SlaveIs A Powerful Account Of The Cruelty And Oppression Of The Maryland Plantation Culture Into Which Frederick Douglass Was Born It Brought Him To The Forefront Of The Antislavery Movement And Drew Thousands, Black And White, To The Cause Written In Part As A Response To Skeptics Who Refused To Believe That So Articulate An Orator Could Ever Have Been A Slave, The Narrative Reveals The Eloquence And Fierce Intelligence That Made Douglass A Brilliantly Effective Spokesman For Abolition And Equal Rights, As He Shapes An Inspiring Vision Of Self Realization In The Face Of Unimaginable Odds

Martin R Delany to publish a weekly anti slavery newspaper, North Star Douglass was the only man to speak in favor of

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  • Paperback
  • 128 pages
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • Frederick Douglass
  • English
  • 12 May 2019
  • 9781598533514

10 thoughts on “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

  1. says:

    I love the review on here that says, This book was kind of hard to get into because of the high level words used in this book In the year 2012 a grown adult product of the USA s educational system finds the vocabulary of a self taught 19th century slave beyond their comprehension, ahahahahahahaha God Bless America.

  2. says:

    Thank you Mr Douglass this was a life changer for me You are a true American hero and the fact that there are not monuments, government buildings, holidays or other commemorations of your life seems to me an oversight of epic proportions How often is it that you can honestly say that you ll never be the same after reading a book Well, this life story of a singular individual has changed me.irrevocably I will never be able to sufficiently express my gratitude to Mr Douglass for that extraordinary gift of insight I m just not sure how to properly express how deeply this story impacted me both with its content and its delivery Impressive seems such a shallow word I guess I will call it a unique and special experience and simply state that this autobiography has been added to my list of All Time Favorites Being a fan of history, in general, and American history, in particular, I was somewhat familiar with Frederick Douglass and his reputation for being a great orator and a tireless opponent of slavery However, this is the first time I ve actually read any of his writings and I was blown away, utterly, by the intellect, character and strength of this American hero And make no mistake, this man was a HERO in every sense of the word I can imagine few people in a generation with the combination of intelligence, strength of character, sense of morality, charity and indomitable will as Frederick Douglass.Here is a man who, as a slave with little or no free time to himself, spent every spare moment he had teaching himself to read and write Think about that In a very telling passage, Douglass says that he knew how important it was to educate himself because of how vehemently his master was opposed to it I m paraphrasing, but his message was, What my master saw as the greatest evil, I knew to be a perfect good Such determination and clarity of thought boggles the mind Rarely have a come across a person whose moral fiber I admire John Adams being the other historical figure that jumps to mind On the issue of slavery itself, I am resolved that there could be no better description of the horrendous evil of slavery than this book I previously read Uncle Tom s Cabin and, while an important novel, that story had nowhere near the effect on me that this one did Again, thank you Mr Douglass While there are many aspects of the narrative that are worthy of note the quality of prose, the excellent balance between details and pace and the fascinating events described , the most memorably impressive thing to me was the tone used by Frederick Douglass to describe his life and the people he came in contact with during his time both as a slave and after securing his freedom Despite having seen and personally endured staggering brutality at the hands of white slave owners, Douglass never, NEVER comes across as bitter or hate filled towards all white people Had I been in his position, I am not sure I could have been so charitable with my outlook He speaks frankly and in stark terms about the evil and brutality suffered by himself and his fellow slaves He sees great wrong and he confronts it boldly with his writing However, he never generalizes people beyond his indictment of slavery and slave holders He doesn t stereotype or extend his anger beyond those whom he rightfully condemns That is a person of great strength and even greater charity The dignity of the man is humbling to behold After finishing this inspirational, never be the same autobiography, Frederick Douglass has joined my pantheon of American heroes right along side George Washington and John Adams I plan to read further works by Douglass and can not strenuously urge others to do the same 6.0 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION

  3. says:

    Time for a reread What I like about Douglass than anything else at all is his clear thinking on subject peoples He saw that the discrimination against blacks and women was from an identical stance That white men were imposing a structure of equality and entitlement that placed them at the top, and everyone else far beneath them Indeed America s much lauded equality didn t apply to Blacks as they property not people It hasn t changed much in very many countries, if not all, but you can change the descriptive white to whichever group of men have ensured they are sitting at the top of the economic and social freedom tree But it is always men.In the UK, where Douglass was on a speaking tour with William Wilberforce, he emphasised that the emancipation of slavery had also to include that of women whose condition was also as owned property with few rights There is a quote I very much like I asked them why when they persecute men, for religion or colour it was seen by the world as oppression and when they persecute women, it was dismissed as tradition The Goodreads author, Emer MartinThe real reason I am going to reread this book is this wonderful review, I love the review on here that says, This book was kind of hard to get into because of the high level words used in this book In the 21st century a grown adult product of the USA s educational system finds the vocabulary of a self taught 19th century slave beyond their comprehension, seriously God Bless America.

  4. says:

    Once you learn to read you will forever be free This is powerful, so, so powerful This is a remarkable achievement considering it is written in such a straight forward manner by a man who taught himself to read There is no embellishment or dramatic imagery here it is simple, straightforward, harrowing, fact It is such a strong narrative that I m extremely glad I read I recommend it to everyone Moreover, to emphasise the sheer depravity, and brutality, these slaves were subjected to, the forward of the book suggests that Douglas had it easy It was written by a close friend of his who argues that in comparison with other tales of slavery, Douglas s subjugation was mild and not too bad This, in itself, speaks volumes because this narrative relays an awful series of events It does make you wonder what awfulness the others contained if this is considered a lesser form of evil treatment Douglass had an awful childhood I do not recollect of every seeing my mother by the light of day She was with me in the night She would lie down with me, and get me to sleep, but long before I waked she was gone From a very young age he had no sense of closeness with anyone He was separated from his mother at the incredibly young age of ten months When his mother later dies, he simply doesn t care He s not formed a lasting bond with her, so her demise is like the passing of a stranger she means nothing to him They didn t have enough time together for Douglass to have conceptualised who this person was to him Indeed, he has very little conception of the world outside his slavery He doesn t fully conceive the harshness he is enduring until he is into his early teens To his mind one of the overseers is a good man because he takes no pleasure in the whippings he exacts In his later life he does fully realise how he s been controlled and forced to think certain things, but at the time he just wasn t ware of the full extent of his situation He doesn t even know his own age The slavers loved to keep their chattel in ignorance, so they d work harder and have fewer dreams of freedom If they don t have the knowledge, then they cannot question their masters However, Douglass became wise to his enforced ignorance he quickly learnt that his path to freedom resided in his education So, after a few brief lessons with a kind, and temporary, mistress he set about learning how to read in any way he could he learnt from dockworkers and poor white children, and began to see a route to liberty through his increasing knowledge of the world In this respect, his friend was right about the mildness of Douglass s treatment At this point in his life, he only witnessed barbarity rather than being subjugated to it In this he was lucky, but that luck was to quickly run out As he grew older his learning opportunities dwindled, as did his hope He was contracted out to a brute of an owner who was the very image of a sadist slaver.His new master was terrible and vicious He almost broke Douglass, but his strength of will bounced back and managed to keep him on his feet He learnt to strike back with such vigour that his master, who had a reputation for breaking unruly slaves, actually began to fear Douglass He quickly got rid of him, and fortune sent him into the hands of a former, and gentler, master Luck was in his favour again It seems rather ironic to speak of a slave as having such luck, but when considering that very few successfully escaped their bonds it becomes clear that Douglass had a very fortunate opportunity in front of him In truth, very few were allowed such liberty, and in the process presented with a narrow window of escape, which Douglass quickly leapt through It took him many years to achieve every slave s dream, but he got there nonetheless This is such an interesting narrative it is frank, clear and powerful There are no literary embellishments here Instead, Douglass provides you with the harsh, and straightforward, truth of his life The quote I placed at the start of the review says it all for me, it s also one of my favourite quotes altogether in literature, after reading this it made really appreciate the importance of reading in this world.

  5. says:

    This book is not an important historical document to be placed in a glass case and venerated during Black History Month It should be read by all, regardless of race or creed, as a warning against prejudice and oppression.Douglass description of the cruel conditions of slavery is mind searing His analysis of the system which fostered and condoned it shows amazing depth He shows that slavery made wretched the lives of the victims but that it also warped the perpetrators, and created a regime in which people were afraid to object to injustice That a man could rise from such abject conditions, get an education, and not only share his knowledge with others but become a guiding star of the abolitionist movement is remarkable That he could be a good Christian and remain untainted by racial prejudice is a testament to his greatness of soul.

  6. says:

    Powerful, eloquent and utterly moving, especially considering it was written by a man who taught himself how to read and write while a slave The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass regrettably does not go into detail regarding the particulars of Douglass escape to freedom Having written his memoirs while slavery was still ongoing, he was afraid to reveal his methods for fear of endangering the lives of those who assisted him, as well as potentially shutting down an avenue of escape for other slaves after him The reader must respect that and be satisfied with his well articulated descriptions of life in the south while serving under white masters.

  7. says:

    My copybook was the board fence, brick wall, and pavement my pen and ink was a lump of chalk With these, I learned mainly how to write As with Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, I feel as though I should start by reiterating these simple truths about the narrative Yes, Douglass did write this book himself No, he was not against Christianity, only a staunch opponent of hypocritical Christians No, he did not promote hatred of man his hate was of slavery The hearth is desolate The children, the unconscious children, who once sang and danced in her presence, are gone She gropes her way, in the darkness of age, for a drink of water Instead of the voices of her children, she hears by day the moans of the dove, and by night the screams of the hideous owl All is gloom The grave is at the door This is Douglass grandmother he speaks of, the woman who after raising generations of her master s family, after increasing her master s wealth by training generations of her family, she is sent out into the woods in her old age, to live her remaining years alone, while her family is taken away from her and sold After all, she is of no use to him now.The I embrace slave narratives, the I learn that the good ones always teach new things the big screen hasn t fully capitalized upon So this one again highlighted the horrific chaining and whipping of slave women who stirred jealousy within their slave owners, but it goes a step further into showing how the wives of slave owners were also brutal murderers and slave beaters We don t see this highlighted too often, just as we don t see this too often those black slave women given the separate concubine s houses in the country, where the children were raised I tried to envision how a slave like Douglass could ever become close to a woman, after viewing the treatment of his mother, aunt, and grandmother later, his wife and daughter will die before he did How could generations of black families survive, let alone thrive, in such environments In that case, why expect this narrative to be anything less than the brutally honest, passionate, indignant pathos that it is Douglass lived with siblings but didn t even see them as family always wanting to get away, always seeking freedom, always distrusting of others He saw education as his ticket out of slavery, but once he became educated, he realized how much of a burden it was I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy in moments of agony, I envied my fellow slaves for their stupidity I have often wished myself a beast anything, no matter what, to get rid of thinking After the publication of this book, he feared for this identity so he fled to Europe because of The Fugitive Slave Act still he spoke against slavery He didn t believe in revealing too many secrets of his escape at times even referring to how the underground railway had become the uppergroundrailway , or of the abolitionists and teenage friends who helped educate him I read this years ago but once I started reading, the language and tone lured me and kept me involved until the end To read this American classic and historical treasure, I suggest the Barnes and Noble Classics Edition for the great notes and letters from abolitionists, the time outline, and scholarly introduction and notations.

  8. says:

    Book Review I first read the biographical introduction about Frederick Douglass and learned many new things I knew he wrote a few autobiographies, but I never knew that he spanned them over 40 years of writing and that he lived for close to 80 years I then read both the preface by Garrison and the letter to Douglas They were excellent introductions to the narrative by Frederick Douglass They set the mood and get you ready to experience a whole new set of emotions when you read Douglass Life of an American Slave, etc It really prepares you for the glory in the words and language You realize how much Douglass meant to the enslaved people It also gives you an overwhelming sense of sullen melancholy You almost can t believe that something like this happened to Douglass It is very powerful and emotional Douglass work definitely is effective It moves the reader deeply All I can say about book 1 is that I was utterly repulsed by what I read How any person could do that to another human being because their skin is a different color is absolutely hideous I was so angry that I wanted to just scream out profanities to the slaveholders Douglass memory and description is so vivid I could see the apple red blood drip to the floor almost like it was an IV at times when he whipped her so much there was hardly any blood left I wonder though if this was an exaggeration Garrison claims that it isn t, but it is so vile and disgusting that it can t be real Can it In Book 2, at least we learn that the slaves are treated a little better at times They go for a walk to the Great Farm House if they are a representative which gives them some time to themselves without the fear of a whipping They sing songs and have a little bit of fun at least although Frederick says that they never had any real joy with it, not tears of joy or happiness I was so upset by this No joy and forced to go through all that they did It is horrible Also, the rations they received were so minute I wonder how they ever survived In Book 3 The garden that was near the plantation was nice It would give the slaves something to look at, except that it also tempted them to steal some fruit and vegetables, which would result in severe punishing And all of this so far, happened when Frederick was still just a child I often thought that it was just a game to see how many times they could whip a slave or get him her to do wrong It was almost as if they purposely set them up using spies, etc To try and catch them in the act I think that is incredibly inhumane and awful If I have this many feelings about the narrative so far, it just shoes how great an author Douglass is He is able to capture attention and make you yell out in angst against the evil masters and overseers By the end of Book 6, we learn that Douglass has learned how to read and write He has also learned what an abolitionist is He begins to see out into real life, rather than the life of a slave He has been through several new masters, some good and some bad Also, during this time, he tells the readers that it is better off to be dead than to be a black slave in 19th century America In later books we learn that it is especially horrible when you have been treated nicely as a slave and then you go to a plantation where they treat you despicably Douglass is extremely effective at showing his audience this Douglass also tells how he was shipped all over the place whenever his masters died or got tired of him I see how it becomes a game again I also see that maybe the slaves could be compared to the life of a nomad who has no one common place to stay Not an easy one to read, but important to understand how bad the situation was Hearing about it or knowing of it is one thing Reading specifics is entirely another About Me For those new to me or my reviews here s the scoop I read A LOT I write A LOT And now I blog A LOT First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at where you ll also find TV Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I ve visited all over the world And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who what when where and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what you think Vote in the poll and ratings Thanks for stopping by.

  9. says:

    Portrait of Frederick Douglass as a younger man , engraving by J.C Buttre, 1855 You have seen how a man was made a slave you shall see how a slave was made a man Why is this book not required reading for American high school students It is a difficult book to read, to be sure, but ought still be required reading, Frederick Douglass story should be known to all Americans, representative as it is to the suffering of the thousands upon thousands of people who built this nation Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a brief book, written about Mr Douglass life as a slave as a child and teenager, before escaping the cruel clutches of slavery as a young adult Mr Douglass writes of the horrors he both witnessed and had inflicted upon him, of the indignity of being a slave, of the powerlessness and at times hopelessness he experienced I could not read this book in one sitting or even two, brief as it is I could only read a chapter at a time, sometimes less, so overcome with emotion I was I have read books about slavery before of course, and yet this one was even difficult because it was written by one who was once a slave, written of his own experiences It is written with dignity and grace, and Mr Douglass analyzes both the mindset of the cruel slave owner, and the mindset of a slave most notably, what it takes to make a slave the fear, the degradation, the violence which must be heaped upon an individual to break him How humans can do such things to other humans is beyond me, but many have and many would still do For this reason, it is important to bear witness to the suffering of the past If humanity is not to repeat our history, we must first know it I m aiming to read a classic a month in 2019 This was my February pick and I m glad it was.

  10. says:

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