Harriet Jacobs: A Life

Harriet Jacobs: A Life

by Jean Fagan Yellin
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Harriet Jacobs: A Life by Jean Fagan Yellin

Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl remains the most-read woman's slave narrative of all time. Jean Fagan Yellin recounts the experiences that shaped Incidents-the years Jacobs spent hiding in her grandmother's attic from her sexually abusive master-as well as illuminating the wider world into which Jacobs escaped. Yellin's groundbreaking scholarship restores a life whose sorrows and triumphs reflect the history of the nineteenth century, from slavery to the Civil War, to Reconstruction and beyond. Winner of the 2004 Frederick Douglass Prize, presented by Yale University's Gilder-Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, awarded to the year's best non-fiction book on slavery, resistance and abolition, the most prestigious award for the study of the black experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465092895
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 02/14/2005
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 5.62(w) x 8.62(h) x 1.00(d)

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Harriet Jacobs: A Life 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for a History Review Paper. I found this book very interesting and it took me almost no time at all to read it. As you read this book, (as a woman)I felt Harriet's need to be free. The constant fear of loosing her children, who could be sold with out notice or her having no legal right to them. To live every day with the knowledge that you had no say in how you or your family lived your life and that you where at the mercy of your master would make you want to gain your freedom. To know that once you went for it, you had to keep going until you reached it or you where caught or killed. Which in most cases the slave was caught and killed or they wished that they where dead from the punishment that their master inflected on them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a history and a lit student, this book was amazing to read. I only wish I had found it during the school year rather than during the summer! Yellin tells an incredible story of not just Harriet Jacobs, but also of her daughter Louisa. After both managed to find their freedom together, they continued to work for Black and Womens' Rights until nearly their deaths. These are two women well worth being remembered.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jean Yellin¿s Harriet Jacobs: A Life is readable, interesting, and meaningful. It is dedicated, Yellin says, to Jacobs, whose soul burned for freedom and whose heart was steeled to suffer even death in the pursuit of liberty and equality for African Americans and women. When she died in 1907, Jacobs was nearly forgotten, but Yellin¿s biography restores an important woman to public scrutiny and well-deserved approbation. Until 1985, when Yellin¿s edition of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl established Jacobs as its author, the book was considered fiction that could not have possibly been written by a freed slave. If there was any doubt that Jacobs was the author of Incidents, Yellin¿s fine detailing of Jacobs¿ life conclusively settles the issue. We are immersed in Jacobs¿s drama, provided with a compelling narrative of her life and given glimpses into her family, her children, and social life of the South and North before and after the Civil War. What Yellin does so well is to lucidly document the dignity and intrepid character that raises Jacobs above the wretchedness of slavery and racial prejudice wherever it surfaces.