Customer Reviews for

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Average Rating 4
( 269 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(131)

4 Star

(55)

3 Star

(43)

2 Star

(20)

1 Star

(20)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Teaches you a lot

In reading Frederick's narrative it truly teaches you about the life inside slavery and how powerful the faith of a person can be to escape the evil of the world. He writes so well and I will always remember his story because it has inspired me.

posted by 1485707 on June 18, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Good Book

This is a great read, but it wouldn't hurt to have some of the imperfections corrected...sometimes it gets a bit confusing.

posted by Anonymous on September 11, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 3
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Slave Life

    Our assignment in English class was to find a book written by an American author before World War II. In order to find a book, I went to Barnes and Noble. The man that helped me find a book recommended many books, but this one stood out in my mind. He said that this book was very interesting and eye-opening. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, and American Slave is about a colored man named Frederick Douglas and his life journey as a slave. The book goes into detail about the events Frederick had to overcome like learning to read and write, the horrible sites he had to see, and the tough situations he had to go through. This book is a fairly easy read and hooks the audience in a touching and thrilling way. This non-fiction narrative is a great book that allows readers to understand and walk in the shoes of slaves centuries ago. It makes readers think about their own lives and how lucky they are to have what they have. "You will be free as soon as you are twenty-one, but I AM A SLAVE FOR LIFE!" (page 44)

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2009

    Eloquently written narrative, which is both compelling, and enlightening

    This is a short interesting read, easy enough to finish while on a plane ride. The book highlights some of the various details in Douglass's life as a slave. If you're looking for more detail, I would suggest starting with this book, then moving on to Douglass's other narrative (later published) "My Bondage. . ."

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2007

    Inspirational, and Riveting Incite to a Slave's Struggle for Freedom

    This narrative is a fundamental element in the history of our nation, in one of its darkest times. Douglass is sold and 'broken in' to the slave lifestyle very cruelly, being whipped and beaten. When he is 'broken in' he loses all previous desire to try and escape from his fate, and becomes apathetic to everything. Only when he is sold again, this time to a kinder keeper, does he realize that if he can share the education he learned as a child, and pass it on to others he can start an escape plan. Due to his knowledge he receives a higher position, and eventually begins to earn wages for the work he carries out. Now saving all the money he earns, he is able to buy his own freedom, escape to New York City, and get married. The narrative highlights the fact that it was only though the un education of slaves that white owners felt they had the power. If one became educated, like Douglass, they were able to escape, gain support, or buy their way out of from their oppressive lives.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2007

    Frederick Douglass

    My name is Jane, and I am a student at Parkview High school. I have been taught about slavery in many past history classes. As I read this book about Frederick Douglass, my view of slavery was moved tremendously. Douglass explains the horror and cruelty of slavery in every chapter of this book. As a child, he witnessed a brutal whipping that his aunt encountered. From this point on, he realizes what slavery truly is and how it dehumanizes African Americans. Douglass was moved from being a plantation slave to a house slave when he was under the age of 10. He enjoyed the life as a house slave because he was treated more like a human-being. However, this did not last long. The mistress, Mrs. Auld, who taught him how to read and write also turned into a cruel slave owner when Mr. Auld showed her the dangers of educating a slave. Douglass, however, continued to learn how to read and write. By his consistency, Douglass accomplished his dream and became a free man. The topic of slavery should not be lightly comprehended. Although, I am not able to put my feet in Douglass' shoes, he truly is an inspirational writer that not only touched me but the hearts of thousands across the world.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2007

    Frederick Douglass: Book Summary

    In this very exquisite slave narrative by Frederick Douglass, the reader is immersed into a first-person perspective account of slavery. Frederick Douglass was a writer and speaker who was very involved with abolitionism. Douglass was born into slavery under his mother Harriett Bailey. Like most slaves living back then, Frederick Douglass was separated from his mother at a young age. Controversially, his father is implied to be his master Captain Anthony. At just seven years old, Douglass was sold to the distant relative of Captain Anthony, Hugh Auld, who lives in Baltimore, where Douglass lives a more leisurely life than before at first. Auld¿s wife Sophia has never owned a slave since Douglass and therefore had no idea how it worked, so she was surprisingly more sympathetic toward him however, as time goes on, Sophia become less kindlier and eventually becomes crueler along with her husband. In correlation with this, Douglass learns how to read and becomes more aware of the evils of slavery and abolitionism. After the ending of Captain Anthony¿s family line, Douglass is sent to serve Thomas Auld. Douglass becomes unmanageable and uncomfortably resistant as a slave. Then, he was sent to Edward Covey, who was known for breaking slaves to a point where any resistant is futile by means of cruel punishment. However, there was a huge fight between Covey and Douglass later on that result in Covey leaving Douglass alone. Douglass is then sent to William Freeland and begins educating other blacks and plots an escape but is betrayed by a friend and gets sent back to Thomas Auld who sends him back to Hugh Auld to learn ship caulking. In Baltimore, he experienced many racist situations with his coworkers, sometime turning violent. Even through these trials and tribulations, he earns a very decent profit that he turns to his master. Bit by bit, he receives what money he can make in his free time and escapes to New York and ends up marrying Anna Murray, a woman of Baltimore decent. Douglass¿s life is then written into this biography.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2007

    Frederick Douglas

    Personally, this was not the most exciting book I have ever read on slavery but I do thin it is important to let one express their opinion, especially first hand knowledge. Frederick gives a detailed tale about his life, but it is not one that I had fun digging into. This book is good to be taught in the classroom as a fundemental part to share apart of one's own culture and experiences with the rest of the world, but I do think this book is over rated a bit.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    A revelation

    The autobiography of an African American slave before the Civil War. Beautifully, simply told. Last few pages a disappointing screed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2005

    Yulisa Rincon LIT2480 student

    The book Frederick Douglass, gives us a descrpitive image on how they were threated. The book is so emotional and it mke us appreciate our freedom that we have now..And it makes you feel proud for his accomplisments and depress for his losses. I recomend this book to every one...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2005

    Life of Frederick Douglass

    This was an excellent source of inside information about the grave stories of how African Americans were brought and bought against their will. It's sad when people are purposely kept from learning to read because of another persons greed and fear. When you know that your father is your master and you're treated in such a different manner and also no mother to care for you is spirit breaking. You witness brutality sometimes death being done to your own kin kind of puts you in a fearful state. It's sad that you work from sun up tp sun down and not given proper or adequate clothing and sleeping gear. You see the older slaves go in the woods left to die after they've help raise children and worked all of their good years of life to waste away alone. The good in the Narrative is that Frederick was able to leave with knowledge and was able to bring so many others to the light of such evil and longsuffering of a people who didn't ask to come to a country and be exploited.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2005

    Douglass' recounting was impressive, full of images..

    Douglass' narrative brought tears to my eyes an a new intimate perspective with the lives of slaves in those days. It is an easy read and compels you to want to keep reading more. This narrative surely brings a piece of history within reach, and a piece of shame that anyone should have to endure such tragedy in life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2005

    MargoA African American Literature online student

    The Narrative life of Frederick Douglass is a commendable book to read, powerful and an eye opening realism of the affliction, bravery, and determination of the African and African American slaves. It is the story of the audacity of one slave unwavering plan to become a free man, and fight for his rights and the rights of other slaves. I can not help but notice that despite the fact that he was a slave, brutally whipped and barely fed by whites, his mentor was William Lloyd Garrison¿s, a white abolitionist leader. That gesture indicates to me the grandeur of Douglass¿s heart and mind after all that he went through. As a great admirer of one of the most important African American leaders in the United States in the last decades, Dr. Martin Luther King, and his constant battle in favor of racial equalities, this book represent a great testimony of the life of another great leader with very similar attitudes and ideals. A leader that even though lived in another époque, in which he had to confront an environment much more hostile and difficult, had sufficient courage to fight against all racial, and social barriers in order to attain his aspirations, to improve the lives of African Americans and recuperate their dignity as human beings. I am certain that the life of Dr. Martin Luther King was greatly influenced by the life of this great man, Frederick Douglass.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2005

    Wow. It broke my heart, and it made me proud all at the same time

    To read this book, is to enter the dark world that slavery made it to be. From the moment you read the first chapter, one can begin to understand the pain that was sufferred. Douglass describes it so simple, but yet so clearly for one to understand the horrificness of slavery. In all his brokenness, he found courage. I trully enjoyed the book; and I know have a much deeper understanding of those things (such as slaver)that one wonders why did it have to happen at all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2005

    religious differences

    The Narrative life of Fredirck Douglass was an excellent read and an eye opening realism of african life in america. How they had to differantiate between the religion and g-d they believe in and how the Americans are making a mockery of it through the slave trade. He proclaims that 'here we have religion and robbery the allies of eachother- devils dressed in angels' robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.' The way he is playing the devil's advocate with the way the Americans believe to be religious and holy while being the sinners themselves.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2005

    Vernon Jacobs African American Literture online student

    These words of anti-slavery were inspiring. This was one of the original starts of freedom for all slaves. Frederick Douglass's contribution to abolishing the unfair treatment of slaves is duely noted. His words offered the hope that there would be a change in the way blacks were viewed by their oppressors. This work is recommended for all to see how far we have come as a nation

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2005

    Frederick Douglass

    I read The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass for my online African American Literature class. Although not too enthusiastic about having to read a book on slavery, I went ahead and did so anyway. I turned out being unable to put down the book. The way Frederick depicts every moment since his childhood experiencing slavery at it's high and low points (Yes there were 'high's') was amazing. He managed to approach everything so methodically and very detailed, but yet still kept a lot of important details to himself. He writes such a wonderful narrative, it's amazing to see someone that went through those horrible times writing so well. He leaves it up to the reader to make his own judgement about his narrative. He doesn't tell you how to think, how to view things. He merely tells you everything word for word, no exaggeration. And in one sentence he says it all in this narrative: 'I prefer to be tru to myself, even at the hazzard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence.' Good book though it takes a while to pick up during the beginning. I would recommend to anyone who wants a true depiction of how things were back in the 1800s regarding slavery. Warning: It's a bit hard to swallow the graphic details included to help you visualize the lashings these slaves encountered routinely.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2004

    Frederick Douglass : An American Idol

    I was amazed by Frederick Douglass's bravery and his ability to overcome the hardships that were placed in front of him. Reading about someone who had such a hard life with so much misfortune really makes me appreciate what a world we live in today.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2003

    An Interesting Book

    This book is interesting and gives you the slave's perspective on slavery! Pretty easy to read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 3