Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Dover Thrift Editions: Black History)

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Former slave, impassioned abolitionist, brilliant writer, newspaper editor and eloquent orator whose speeches fired the abolitionist cause, Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) led an astounding life. Physical abuse, deprivation and tragedy plagued his early years, yet through sheer force of character he was able to overcome these obstacles to become a leading spokesman for his people. In this, the first and most frequently read of his three autobiographies, Douglass provides graphic descriptions of his childhood and horrifying experiences as a slave as well as a harrowing record of his dramatic escape to the North and eventual freedom. Published in 1845 to quell doubts about his origins — since few slaves of that period could write — the Narrative is admired today for its extraordinary passion, sensitive and vivid descriptions and storytelling power. It belongs in the library of anyone interested in African-American history and the life of one of the country’s most courageous and influential champions of civil rights. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

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80 reviews for Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Dover Thrift Editions: Black History)

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  1. Helga Smith

    A gift

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  2. Kelli Smith

    Inspirational information over Frederick Douglas that can be used for history, or several other book related resources.

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  3. jean lover

    It is huge and took me quite a while to read but was an education in one book!

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  4. Noonie

    I bought this book to learn more about Mr.Douglas,I was not disappointed.

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  5. Kreative Pen

    It is never easy reading about the type of fear, brutality, and oppression most slaves experienced as Frederick Douglass describes with his personal accounts. No matter what type of book I read about the history of enslaved people everywhere, the brutal accounts are the same and I wonder how the absence of compassion and humanity can let a person sleep in peace and without guilt when they cast such cruelty on another human being with hearts of stone. Yet, so many of these slaveowners resoundingly proclaim that they are Christians.Frederick Douglass had no accurate knowledge of his age because it was the wish of most masters, within his knowledge, to keep their slaves ignorant. He never recalls meeting a slave who could tell of their birthday. Douglass was separated as an infant from his mother, but this was not an uncommon occurrence to part children from their mothers at a very early age. The name given to him by his mother was Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. He bore many surnames like Stanley and Johnson before he chose to use Douglass as his name after he became a free man.”Slaves, when inquired of their condition and character of their masters, almost universally say they are contented, and that their masters are kind. The masters had been known to send in spies among their slaves to ascertain their views and feelings in regard to their condition,” according to Douglass. A still tongue makes a wise head. Such practices were part of the dehumanizing character of slavery, just like the belief that education and slavery were incompatible with each other. The determination to read and learn was blasphemous in the eyes of the slavemaster and his household.Douglass sought freedom and while his attempts seemed futile, he eventually was successful at escape. He married Anna Murray and they began their lives in New Bedford. Due to the sensitivity of disclosing how he escaped to freedom, Douglass does not lay out how he did it because he knew slavemasters would read this narrative and foil any attempt of their slaves running away to seek freedom.He attended anti-slavery meetings but while attending an anti-slavery convention at Nantucket in 1841, he felt strongly to speak, when all before he was reluctant to do so. From this point, he became engaged in pleading the cause of his brethren in bonds, and to shed light on the American slave system as he faithfully relied upon the power of truth, love, and justice for success in his humble efforts.Yes, this is a short read and another good, personal, and emotional history-empowered book I highly recommend.

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  6. sandra densmore

    If you are looking for American history, read this book.

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  7. Sam

    Interesting reading. I’ll be honest, the only reason why I purchased this was due to school. I needed this for my research essay. Got an A.

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  8. VTXRyder

    Frederick Douglas understood that though slave ownership was evil and many owners themselves were ungodly, evil men, it did not then prove there is no God, or that God did not love Frederick. A huge lesson for many today who believe that if they are not “happy”, there is no God or he doesn’t love them.

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  9. ♫NewHorizons♫♫NewHorizons♫

    “He’s done an amazing job.” Please, be smarter than your president and read this book. And the Dover thrift edition is under two bucks. No excuses!

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  10. Gabriela

    me sirvio para mi clase d ehistoria

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  11. James Haddad

    I purchased this book for my son’s History Class. The product was delivered on time and was as advertised. I have nothing negative to say, my purchase experience has been an enjoyable one.

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  12. JB

    When Trumptydumpty said, “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice,” I knew it’s time to add this powerful narrative to my American Lit syllabus in oh-so-ahite Vermont.

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  13. Missy

    A great piece of American Literature everyone should read. My perspective on life and literature has been changed by this book. Introduced to me in college in an African American studies class, I have since bought three more and gave them to friends. Every lover of social justice, human rights and literature must read this. Written by a great man, Frederick Douglass.

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  14. Chumma

    It’s accuracy

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  15. Michael Boyajian

    The violent horrors of slavery explode out of these pages describing Douglass’ experience of being a slave. The book is often cited by works on ancient history as the source for slavery from the slave’s perspective as opposed to the common view of the slave holder who called them lazy and thieves.

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  16. Ethereum

    The shortened version for sure.

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  17. Vanessa

    My daughter needed this for school and I’m all about a bargain. Sure enough Amazon had it the cheapest and shipping was only two days.

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  18. FashionBuyer

    A wonderful read and I love the added perspectives of how white people viewed him. His story leaves me in awe. If you need an easy read that’s also heavy on the heart warming and motivation this the one!

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  19. DMac

    The Narrative of Frederick Douglas is a must read for all Americans to embrace OUR flawed but extraordinary history of the United States of America.Douglas is a pillar of the unwavering spirit to withstand atrocities, hardships and pain of life to overcome and succeed as one of the greatest Americans who has ever lived. Written in his own words (when teaching slaves to read and write was subject to sadistic punishment), this autobiography itself is a testament to Douglas’ courage.As a Black parent who read this book years ago, I made it required summer reading for my kids to read once they enter middle school. The graphic brutality is apparent where anger could easily overcome your emotions, but the short read allows you to experience the triumph of Douglas towards the conclusion of the book, making contemporary racial strife child’s play in comparison to his plight and yet Douglas overcame.This is not a black story but an American story that all people on the planet could benefit for it displays how human will and a enduring spirit can change things.I recommend “Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln” by John Stauffer as a good companion to learning about Douglas friendship and influence of Lincoln. Enjoy!

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  20. Kindle Customer

    Wow! What a poignant story firsthand from a slave. I think there were all types of masters and all types of slaves, and unfortunately he fell into the hands of masters who were mostly unkind. Other stories of slaves have them being like part of the family. This is a must read for students learning about the history of our country.

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  21. nicole baum

    perfect price as needed for AP lang & comp class. I bought these for my daughter and 3 more for friends. great price, & fast.

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  22. Bekasume

    This opened my eyes about an unsavoury part of history. This man was a slave and understood the true issues involved. Should be read by anyone who thinks that there is nothing wrong with slavery or who is willing to support groups that support slavery today.

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  23. Papi Walker

    Love all the information.

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  24. Thomas A. Gogoel

    Shows how out of touch we have become today, especially with this “entitlement” B.S.. I’m sure everyone will get a different take, but a good, easy read that shows that cruelty and appreciation are characteristics of the individual, not a group.

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  25. James

    I had a Booker Washington coin collection as a kid, but never learned much about him. I read a lot of great books in high school, but sadly this was not one of them. This should be mandatory in at least grade school. It’s an easy read.

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  26. Derrick Nichols

    I liked this book. And just knowing more about the history of Black Americans in this country.

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  27. Jeanva1jean

    What an important peice of history this is. It’s a short read. Definitely worth a look if you’re interested in history.

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  28. Amazon Customer

    Very informative book

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  29. Amazon Customer

    Must read for anyone trying to catch up on why we are where we are in America at this moment in time. Beautifully written!

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  30. Kort

    My daughter required this book for a high school report. It is a small, concise volume that covers the life of Frederick Douglass. It was also the most cost-effective. If required for school, this would be the one to get. I can’t say it is a good pleasure reading or delves deeply into the man and his motivations, but it is a quick and informative read.~ Kort

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  31. Mitchem

    He laid the foundation for human rights, civil rights, and political power for African Americans. His book can be easily traced to beliefs from many civil rights leaders be they radical or moderate in nature.

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  32. Steve Markle

    This was a great book, and although it is short it has so much content. Douglass is a fantastic writer. This is one of the few autobiographies with a storyline that actually kept me on the edge of my seat!

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  33. Y. C. M.

    The iBook was read in our daughters school and she liked it a lot. She loves history and this book portrays one of the relevant figures in the fight for civil rights and anti-slavery movement in the USA.

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  34. Linda Galvan

    Light and not heavy. A nice book.

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  35. Stephanie Thomas

    I used this to teach my kids some history. Its a great short reference tool.

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  36. ELLE DUB

    This book should be read by EVERY single person living in America. This is not Black History, this is American History. Life changing and profound. All the good reviews are not exaggerations. I honestly feel that there are no words to express the importance of this piece of work. Just read it. Buy with one click. DO IT!

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  37. housecat

    Quality was good for a paperback

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  38. paola

    Omg!! What an amazing book. I took US history for college and we had to write and essay on this little book. It made me cry from the very first page. The way Frederick Douglas narrates is beautiful as an art, but painful as anexperience. Soooo worth what ever you pay for it. It change my perspective in every posible way. They should make it a movie.

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  39. Armando Pena

    The best slavery book ever. This was an assigned book for my history class and I had to write an essay for it. When I started reading the book I got hooked on to it instantly. It does not sugar coat slavery and describes it perfectly. Definately would recommend to anyone who wants to read a narrative on slavery and learn how a slaves life would be like.

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  40. Bay Quet

    I always heard about Frederick Douglass but never thought his writing would be so engrossing. He writes so strongly and succinctly about slavery and how he pushed himself to read and teach others so they could be empowered to better their lives. He glosses over his escape (to protect those involved, he says, since this book wasn’t published before slaves were emancipated) but talks about his experiences in the North and touches on how he became an activist.For anyone who wants to understand slavery, or the history of African-Americans and our country in general, or the time period, or just the story of one man who decided to choose a better life, this book is a very worthwhile read. Even in the 21st century, the reading is pretty simple.And the forward by William Lloyd Garrison had me running to find more books by said author!

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  41. princessofthegeeks95

    I had to read this for an American History class. This narrative was entirely different than I had expected. Frederick Douglass proved throughout the book that he was brave, intelligent and determined. Excellent history read.

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  42. melvin shoales

    Great Product

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  43. Susan Bryg

    This is an amazing account of slavery in the early part of the 19th century. It is a tale of a human spirit that could not be extinguished even though Frederick Douglass witnessed and experienced unspeakable cruelty and hardship. It made me think of how soft we, as Americans, are today. What Douglass and his peers had to endure is truly beyond belief.It is a story that needs to be read, although the reading of it is not pleasant. And, knowing ‘the rest of the story’, I am amazed at how Douglass was able to overcome so much adversity and to rise to a position of such leadership. At the time that he died in 1895, he had amassed a fortune of $300K. That would have put him in the elite 1% of wealth in this great and exceptional nation.If only our youth of today could read of such hardship and be encouraged to persevere through their own troubles. It could become a story of inspiration and hope for them..It is also tragic to think that our own great nation was the home of a culture that was so despicable….a culture that treated some of our most talented and gifted people as if they were mere chattel. Thank God that we have grown past that.

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  44. John Doe

    This was a beautiful book. This book took me a while, where 15 pages equaled to about 2 hours due to the amount of words per page and sophistication of words back then, but this was very good. I sort of felt like I had personal connection with him, and reading thoughts and life experiences more than 100 years ago is still very impressive. He might be gone now, but this book makes him feel very well alive.

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  45. Kindle Customer

    Enjoyed very much. Interesting read.

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  46. Happy Penelope

    It is not often one reads just the facts and unvarnished feelings about an heroic figure who writes of life from the first-person singular and that is entirely without self-promotion. This is a must read and should be read aloud as well as silently by all family members when old enough to learn from such awful times. As a conservative Republican with family ancestry in friendship with Abraham Lincoln, I am deeply affected by this book.

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  47. Kenny De Bique

    This book is a good read to learn about the slave trade in America. Frederick Douglass turned out to be a excellent writer that was previously a slave. This book inspired me to work towards my goals no matter what I came from.

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  48. Ruth’s Opinion

    Every one should read this to understand the horrors of slavery. This amazing man who was mainly self educated must’ve been a genius which is apparent by the writing and his insight into the horrible people who believed they were justified to take part in this practice. Surprisingly the more religious the “owner” the meaner they were. I read this also in ” Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. Shame on those people who justified their actions. I don’t agree with the notion if burying history because it’s not liked. Horrors like this happen to teach the ages. Slavery is a horror up there with the Holocaust.

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  49. Ella Quin

    Having read other slave testimonials, I was not surprised by the stories Douglass recounts in his narrative. The tales of a master using cowhide rods to beat a slave until she bleeds, waiting for it to heal for a few hours while she is hog-tied, and then beating her again in the same place are horrifying and never easy to read, but we must not forget this wretched era of our country’s history. It is important to keep these stories alive.What sets this narrative apart, though, is Douglass’s ability to analyze the psychology behind slaves, slave owners, and taskmasters. As one example, Douglass explains that part of the secret to keeping slaves from rebelling or running away is to convince them that they would be worse off if they were free. One way to do this is to let the slave overindulge in something in order to lose faith in his ability to control himself. One time a slave got into the plantation house and ate some molasses. The owner went to town and got a huge bucket of molasses and made the slave eat so much that he never wanted to see molasses again. The owner used this as a way to teach the slave that he would destroy himself if it were not for the watchful, protective eye of the slave owner.Further, Douglass elaborates on the role of Christianity in slavery. Though most modern Christians deny that the Bible endorses slavery, from the perspective of Douglass, there was no crueler master than the zealously religious master, for it was the religious master that could use religion as a barrier to his own conscience and therefore commit more heinous acts than an ordinary conscience would allow. Douglass recounts the time one of his masters went to a religious revival. Hoping the master would return as a less violent, kinder person, Douglass was dismayed to see his master’s poor attitude had morphed into righteous fury, making him a far more contemptible slave owner than he had previously been.This is a taste of what Douglass brings you in this slim volume. It’s a one-sitting read that is more than worth the few hours you will invest. Recommended for everyone.

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  50. Malmesbury

    don’t buy into the lies you’ve been fed through mass media about race and slavery. Read this book, inform yourself and realize the truth as told through a man who actually lived through this hell and came out the other end a better man.

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  51. Cam’s Corner

    Douglass has a way of entrapping a reader- i finished this in one sitting, fully transported back to the 1840s. what i truly appreciated was that when it came to him successfully escaping, he didn’t describe how he did it. at first i was like, “the people want to know!!” but then i remembered that not everyone reading his story at the time was an abolitionist (remember the year is 1845- slavery is still very real); him spilling out the details could potentially put those who are trying to escape at risk.what absolutely terrified me was the unchanging factor that nobody cared for Black bodies (surprise surprise). LET ME TELL YA’LL ABOUT THESE SADISTIC OVERSEERS:- “The louder she screamed, the harder he whipped; & where the blood ran fastest, there he whipped longest.” pg. 4- “Mr. Severe was rightly named: he was a cruel man. I have seen him whip a woman, causing the blood to run half an hour at a time… He seemed to take pleasure in manifesting his fiendish barbarity.” pg. 7however, what we aren’t going to do is continue with the narrative that white men were the only ones brutal with enslaved Blacks:- “Mrs. Hicks, finding the girl slow to move, jumped from her bed, seized an oak stick of wood by the fireplace, & with it broke the girl’s nose & breastbone, & thus ended her life.” pg. 15that’s all i can write. i’m not even going to go in on how they treated children or bet on drunk Black men DURING CHRISTMAS. this is a must read & please, don’t wait until Black History Month to give it a go.

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  52. DCMom

    Jaw dropping. The two authors of the intros wrote very 19th c flowery and repetitive prose. So, I was concerned about what was coming. No need. Douglass was an amazing writer/narrator telling his extraordinarily gripping story (from birth to freedom) with incredible power and impact. I could not put it down. Doesn’t matter how much you have read on slavery and this era – it is an essential read.

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  53. FF>GH>KE

    Great book. I could go on and on about the book. What stands out mostly is the part about when he learned how to read. His Masters’s wife was instructing him but when the master found out he demanded her to stop. The master went on a rant about how conscious reading would make Fredrick and once he became concsious then he would become rebellious beyond control. This sparked in Fredrick a great desire to read and when he did, he became the nightmare his master feared he would become. This is only one piece of the work that stands out.Through reading this book I see how slavery still exist today. There are no longer physical chains but they have become psychological. It is the conditioning of society, the mindsets we are molded to have and that few question. Also how materialism keeps us in the bodage of debt. This book fuels the awakening eye to become conscious so that people will no longer sleep awake.

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  54. James

    I went to UW Madison and UC Davis and managed not to know about this man! He has to be read! Powerful begins to describe the writing. I’m a 75-year-old white man.

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  55. nightshadow

    Gr8

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  56. stoneyloc

    Very well written great educational tool learn quite a bit recommend for all who’s willing to learn about history

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  57. Lulu Belle

    This is a quick read; it is also a book that I feel is is a must read for everyone, especially students. To see up close the brutalization and dehumanization of slavery is beyond words; Douglass cuts straight to the chase. In addition, to see his determination to save his humanity, while it was unacknowledged by others, is amazing. It shows how little many of us think of education and how he fought for it and what it did for him and those whom he affected. By sixteen, he had seen horrors no one should live to see much less to endure. It shows us as a people not much different than the Nazis, I am afraid to say. God bless this poor man’s soul – and yes, this is coming from a white person.

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  58. Annie R.

    I can’t believe this wasn’t (and probably still isn’t) required reading in history class when I was in school. It’s short enough to read in a couple of hours—but it will rock your world (if you have a heart) and shine a bright light on the horrendous situations our slaves had to endure. Douglass was self-taught under the most oppressive conditions, so it is staggering how eloquent and literate he is. He’s a true humanitarian, hero, and patriot. Don’t miss this.

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  59. ricky

    this book will make you cry and want to scream and make you nauseous. my grandchildren are bi-racial and through a pretty solid genealogy found their 4th and 5th generation grandparents were slaves in nauxabee, ms, owned by a man who had 70 human beings in slavery. i wonder what might have happened to those poor people. i hope it wasn’t as bad as mr. douglass but i suspect it probably was.

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  60. Thomas C. Wallace, Ph.D.

    This little book is purported to be an autobiography of Frederick Douglass. His writing style seemed quite advanced for what might be expected from a slave, even though he mentioned that education was very important to him and he worked for years to develop his own literacy and to help others, as well. Mr. Douglass’ love for freedom was uncompromising. His mother was a slave, but his father was a white master who denounced this son and laid the whip to him just as he would any other slave. It is because of this report from Mr. Douglass that I noted in this critique that there is some violence. The truth is that this man was not unique for the times in that he suffered horribly at the hands of those who had authority over the slaves. I found this to be a very interesting little book and I appreciate the personal record of his experience. I highly recommend this book for anyone who seeks understanding into the American past.

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  61. Amazon Customer

    love this book.

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  62. Patrick F

    I’m starting this review before I’ve finished the book. I’m only like thirty pages in, really. But I feel grateful to be able to read more of what Douglass has to say. I believe that he is telling his truth and that makes for beautiful, if heartbreaking, reading. For the record (and the persistent Hypothetical Reader), it is almost 3:00 AM on January 18, 2020. It’s fitting that I’m turning to a book now. To help calm me down and get me to sleep. Douglass’ prose is complicated, so I know eventually I’ll be exhausted to sleep. And though I am generally grateful to books, this autobiography is the one I am reading at the moment, and, therefore, the one I am going to credit.I just took 2 Tyelenol PM It’s 3:45 AM. (Does anyone find this interesting? (That’s rhetorical.)) January 28, 2020. Fredrick Douglass’s writing is too compelling and my mind is racing too quickly from the emotional evening I’ve had. I am determined to read the same paragraph again and again until I understand it without my mind wandering. It took me like 10 tries. Each time I caught myself obsessing over phrases or questions to answer or books to write. I restarted the paragraph. I reminded myself that it is alright to think about it; that doesn’t make me a person who is incapable of loving and being loved; it just means that I have thoughts and emotions; but I’m trying to sleep. And then, when I realize I’m lost in ruminations, I’d start reading the paragraph over again because my mind had wandered. Don’t worry, not all my reviews will be this minutely autobiographical. I just feel compelled to bottle lightening or whatever magic it was that left me a bawling mess of emotions earlier this (last?) evening. But then I remind myself that these are just thoughts and these sentences are just words. And that doesn’t make them good or bad–by extension, that doesn’t make me good or bad–it just means they are words. (I have to stop using the word “just”; and also stop commenting about punctuation and word usage and grammar.) But those are just thoughts, too, and just more words to think about excising later. Because right now, I’m going to smile myself to sleep and keep reading that same paragraph again and again until I drift off or understand (or at least make some conscious semblance of sense from) what is being communicated.One last thing to mention. This should be parenthetical, but it’s not. Let’s not get caught in the weeds here. I want to mention mental health. I dedicated my last book reviews to those in my life who encouraged my reading; I dedicate this book to those who have encouraged and walked alongside me and allowed me to walk alongside of them in their mental health and (I’ll even go so far as to say) spiritual journeys. Goodnight my beloved people and words and books. I hope when I wake up, I’ll be awake.(Sometimes it just doesn’t matter if it’s real or not, fact or fiction. I can just experience the things I’m experiencing right now: Freedom.) That’s not a concept with which Frederick Douglass or any slave was familiar. Or, I mean, Douglass was able to see through the veneer of other people’s impositions to see his (and other slaves’ and masters’) real humanity and to be bold enough to share it. His writing is honest and therefore incredible. I believe what he writes and what he is saying.It’s January 26, now. I’ve finally been able to finish the book and make it through a hectic week. Frederick Douglass’ autobiographical narrative has been a friendly, somehow comforting, companion. Of course, history has proven that there are inaccuracies and mistakes and exaggerations for literary impact. This does not diminish from the incredible document which so clearly traces Douglass’ subjective experience through slavery to freedom.As I read I underlined and commented in the margins. Here are a few observations and quotes:“Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears” (9). I had never considered this interpretation before.Douglass’ is repulsed by slaveowners who profess Christianity and yet own and abuse slaves. Commenting on one of his masters, Douglass writes: “Prior to his conversion, he relied upon his own depravity to shield and sustain him in his savage barbarity; but after his conversation, he found religious sanction and support for his slaveholding cruelty” (32). This hypocrisy personally offensive to the author, though I could not easily discern from this book whether he would identify as a Christian himself.Chapter IX is a gut punch and ought to be required reading (fortunately for me, this is the chapter I read again and again as I tried to quell my manic thoughts and get to sleep). This chapter explores the ingrained evil that was simply viewed as convention by slave owners. Douglass verbally eviscerates his cruel masters and insightful comments on their hypocrisy and twisted character. He tells the story of terrible abuse even toward physically disabled slaves. Also of note, Douglass is careful to assert that these are facts rather than simple feelings or opinions.As his intellect developed, Douglass’ slavery grew more galling. After standing up to yet another abusive master, Douglass writes, “I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact” (43).Douglass uncovers a number of subtle (and not so subtle) manipulation tactics used by slave owners to keep their slaves properly cowed and powerless. Douglass’ insight is astounding and nuanced and devastating as the truth of his firsthand experience rings out in every chapter.The book concludes immediately after Douglass seizes his freedom, telling us nothing of his ongoing ascendance. Written in his late 20’s, one must look to Douglass’ other two autobiographies to hear more of the story. Though at times, he may be a big self-indulgent and strongly opiniated, who can blame him for taking such liberties? This book is worth reading, pondering, and feeling as the oppression of slavery is explored and the indominability of Frederick Douglass is made evident.A-

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  63. EVK21

    The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass was about Douglass’s experience of slavery in his lifetime. Frederick Douglass grew up without ever knowing his father and was separated from his mother when he was an infant. During his time as a slave, he went through hardships, prejudice, and was also forbidden his natural rights as a human being. He talked his first time trying to escape with other slaves but they got caught. He included how they were whipped endlessly until blood would be rushing down their body by their masters/overseers. When Douglass finally escaped from slavery and reached New York he was greeted with kindness. People there were willing to assist him in his wonderful journey to freedom. This narrative focused on the hardships of slavery and the daily life of a slave. How a slave was not treated as equals amongst people but were treated as equals amongst animals and filth. How a slave had to succumb to whippings and beatings from their master/overseer at all times. That a slave would be whipped to such an extent that blood would be rushing down their body. I really liked The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass because it showed the real truth of slavery and how all people should be considered equal. How Frederick Douglass never gave up on the hope of freedom and continued to fight to abolish slavery.I would definitely recommend this book to someone because it showed courage, honesty, and truth.

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  64. Tabatha

    Needed this book for a school project and didn’t want to borrow from the school so I purchased my own copy.

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  65. Dawn Adams

    It was very interesting, I really didn’t think it would be as interesting as it was. It was very informative on how black people were treated. If your interested in learning about history I would highly recommend it.

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  66. Lefty

    This book was an excellent read. The book is not long, but it has a large degree of thought-provoking thoughts and reflections. Douglass refers to slavery in it’s basest form, leaving little to be questioned. His views and thoughts on the matter bring it to life for the reader, exposing the blatant horror of slavery. On a more personal note, I will be very poignant with what I say next. The fact is, Douglass’ words made me also question the very nature of government and how it and slavery are so much alike. A subversive read, I would recommend it to everyone.

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  67. A. Alexander

    I really like this book. Very factual.

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  68. Mary S.

    Highly absorbing, lively, personal (and short) autobiography about Douglass’ life under slavery and his decision to escape. In addition to telling the disturbing and compelling story of life under slavery in Maryland in the 1820s and 1830s, Douglass is a wonderful companion for the 100 or so pages of his Narrative – brilliant, sensitive, moral, and blunt. I knew that Frederick Douglass was a great man for his abolitionist work, but didn’t realize what a wonderful writer he was. Even though many of the individual scenes in the book are difficult to stomach to say the least, I enjoyed the privilege of spending time in Douglass’ wise company.

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  69. M2

    From the writings of a man born into slavery, traded and sold like cattle, whipped and beaten, this first hand narrative is crisp and impactful. Skip the glossy history books and hear it from an escaped slave himself, Fredrick Douglass.

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  70. courtney

    Amazing, riveting account of real history. It was difficult to read some parts but i read the entire book in one sitting. Terrible to think of what some humans were forced to endure in this country.

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  71. Amanda Rose

    A fantastic and heartbreaking novel that puts you into the worst period of U.S. history. Douglass masterfully tells the story of his terrible experience in slavery. I just taught this to my students. This should be required reading for every U.S. citizen.

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  72. IGGY

    It’s nothing like reading the Truth of the past..😔which tends to resonate with the present!😏😏😔

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  73. C3

    The material may be dated but the content an application timeless. Written to the Abolitionist and sympathizers Douglas depiction of life as a slave is upsetting but offers hope to the reader. There are many ways to apply Douglas’s words to life in America today. A worth while read filled with hope.

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  74. busygal

    I want to read more books about Frederick Douglas. I recently read an article written by Bryan Stevenson about The Legacy of Lynching, on Death Row and he refers to lynching, beatings, intimidation, brutality, segregation, incarceration and slavery as terrorism towards blacks in the United States of America. I also see very little has changed in America.

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  75. MaryM.

    Honesty throughout

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  76. Dig

    For all those who complain about usage and word placement, I say back off! I certainly get what Douglass was saying. His description of his childhood is some of the greatest writing ever. Douglass quickly understands that learning to read and think is both a blessing and a curse. But, ignorance has no place in this world. He leaves out the description of his escape so that others can escape. The prejudice and outright hatred he faces as a free man rival what he faced enslaved. Frederick Douglass is an American hero of the first order.

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  77. Tea&BookLover

    It broke my heart. Many times over.Mr. Douglass’s story is very necessary for all American’s to know. It IS very hard to read about how families were separated, human beings sold, beaten, raped, degraded, not be allowed to marry, have children or even keep your children if you DID have them, etc..and that slavery went on for as long as it did. But it’s also necessary to know how people suffered at the hands of other human beings. Knowledge is power, and there are still many other forms of slavery going on today that must be stopped.The strength, determination and tenacity of this man, who against all odds, learned to read, to better himself, to better others, risk his life and escape to freedom is so interesting I did not want to put it down until I was finished with it. I only wish it had been longer. I wanted to read more about his life after escaping to the northeast and freedom.This book will also put your life in perspective for you. Do you think you have it hard now or suffer? Read what millions of people went through during the years when slavery was allowed and your problems will pale in comparison!This is a short book that can be read in one day. I strongly recommend it!

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  78. Haroon Abdo

    Goood book and brand new and cheap

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  79. Amazon Customer

    There is no way to do this book justice in a short review, other than to say that this a book that should be read more than once, as a young person and again when one has more lived experience to fully appreciate Douglass’s impact and also the continuing relevance of his words to contemporary American culture. The institution of slavery has ended, but its lingering impact and the entrenched racism in this country are still very much with us. The current “culture wars” and vehement reaction in some parts of our country to teaching about racism in schools speak volumes. My guess is that many opponents of CRT and of DEI curricula have not opened this book or studied history in any meaningful way. It is only by acknowledging the hypocrisy of some of the ideals upon which this country was founded that we can move forward . In any event, this is a beautifully written, horrific account of the institution of slavery and also a story of survivorship and activism. One would have to be made of stone not to be moved by Douglass’s story. Please don’t stop here- read his speeches as well.

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  80. Andi G

    this is a classic everyone should read. the violence and sex are of the beatings and rapes of enslaved people. the sex is not explicit. the violence is. but the story is one all americans should know.

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    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Dover Thrift Editions: Black History)
    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Dover Thrift Editions: Black History)

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