Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave: Written by Himself available in Paperback
Frederick Douglass's autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, is widely regarded as a classic of American nineteenth-century history, of African-American studies, and of literature. In 1845, just seven years after his escape from slavery, the young Douglass published this powerful account of his life as a slave and his triumph over oppression. The book, which marked the beginning of Douglass’s career as an impassioned writer, journalist, and orator for the abolitionist cause, reveals the terrors he faced as a slave, the brutalities of his owners and overseers, and his harrowing escape to the North.
This edition of the book, based on the authoritative text that appears in Yale University Press’s multivolume edition of the Frederick Douglass Papers, is the only edition of Douglass’s Narrative designated as an Approved Text by the Modern Language Association’s Committee on Scholarly Editions. It includes a chronology of Douglass’s life, a thorough introduction by the eminent Douglass scholar John Blassingame, historical notes, and reader responses to the first edition of 1845.
“None so dramatically as Douglass integrated both the horror and the great quest of the African-American experience into the deep stream of American autobiography. He advanced and extended that tradition and is rightfully designated one of its greatest practitioners.”—John W. Blassingame, from the introduction
|Publisher:||Yale University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) was an African American abolitionist and social reformer, author, orator, and statesman. John R. McKivigan is Mary O’Brien Gibson Professor of History at Indiana University–Purdue University, Indianapolis. Peter P. Hinks is a public historian, historical editor, and author of numerous essays and books on African American and American history before the Civil War. Heather L. Kaufman is the coeditor of several volumes on Douglass and a research associate of the Douglass Papers.
Date of Birth:1818
Date of Death:February 20, 1895
Place of Death:Washington, D.C.
Read an Excerpt
I have often been utterly astonished, since I came north, to find persons who could speak of the singing, among slaves, as evidence of their contentment and happiness. It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake. Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy….Crying for joy, and singing for joy, were alike uncommon to me while in the jaws of slavery. The singing of a man cast away upon a desolate island might be as appropriately considered as evidence of contentment and happiness, as the singing of a slave; the songs of the one and of the other are prompted by the same emotion. -- from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Table of Contents
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave Introduction by Houston A. Baker, Jr.
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave