Douglass: Autobiographies

by Frederick Douglass
Editor Henry Louis Gates

Library of America | February 16, 1999 | Hardcover

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Born a slave, Frederick Douglass educated himself, escaped, and made himself one of the greatest leaders in American history. His three autobiographical narratives, collected here in one volume, are now recognized as classics of both American history and American literature. Writing with the eloquence and fierce intelligence that made him a brilliantly effective spokesman for abolition and equal rights, Douglass shapes an inspiring vision of self-realization in the face of monumental odds. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave (1845), published seven years after his escape, was written in part as a response to skeptics who refused to believe that so articulate an orator could ever have been a slave. A powerfully compressed account of the cruelty and oppression of the Maryland plantation culture into which Douglass was born, it brought him to the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and drew thousands, black and white, to the cause. In My Bondage and My Freedom (1855), written after,he had established himself as a newspaper editor, Douglass expands the account of his slavery years. With astonishing psychological penetration, he probes the painful ambiguities and subtly corrosive effects of black-white relations under slavery; and goes on to account his determined resistance to segregation in the North. The book also incorporates extracts from Douglass' renowned speeches, including the searing "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, first published in 1881, records Douglass' efforts to keep alive the struggle for racial equality in the years following the Civil War. Now a socially and politically prominent figure, he looksback, with a mixture of pride and bitterness; on the triumphs and humiliations of a unique public career. John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, and Harriet Beecher Stowe are all featured prominently in this c

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 1100 pages, 8.13 × 5.23 × 1.4 in

Published: February 16, 1999

Publisher: Library of America

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0940450798

ISBN - 13: 9780940450790

Found in: People of Colour

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Douglass: Autobiographies

Douglass: Autobiographies

by Frederick Douglass
Editor Henry Louis Gates

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 1100 pages, 8.13 × 5.23 × 1.4 in

Published: February 16, 1999

Publisher: Library of America

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0940450798

ISBN - 13: 9780940450790

From the Publisher

Born a slave, Frederick Douglass educated himself, escaped, and made himself one of the greatest leaders in American history. His three autobiographical narratives, collected here in one volume, are now recognized as classics of both American history and American literature. Writing with the eloquence and fierce intelligence that made him a brilliantly effective spokesman for abolition and equal rights, Douglass shapes an inspiring vision of self-realization in the face of monumental odds. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave (1845), published seven years after his escape, was written in part as a response to skeptics who refused to believe that so articulate an orator could ever have been a slave. A powerfully compressed account of the cruelty and oppression of the Maryland plantation culture into which Douglass was born, it brought him to the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and drew thousands, black and white, to the cause. In My Bondage and My Freedom (1855), written after,he had established himself as a newspaper editor, Douglass expands the account of his slavery years. With astonishing psychological penetration, he probes the painful ambiguities and subtly corrosive effects of black-white relations under slavery; and goes on to account his determined resistance to segregation in the North. The book also incorporates extracts from Douglass' renowned speeches, including the searing "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, first published in 1881, records Douglass' efforts to keep alive the struggle for racial equality in the years following the Civil War. Now a socially and politically prominent figure, he looksback, with a mixture of pride and bitterness; on the triumphs and humiliations of a unique public career. John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, and Harriet Beecher Stowe are all featured prominently in this c

About the Author

Frederick Douglass, an outspoken abolitionist, was born into slavery in 1818 and, after his escape in 1838, repeatedly risked his own freedom as an antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Africana Studies at Cornell University, and also tenured at Yale, Duke, and Harvard, where he was appointed W.E.B. DuBois professor of humanities in 1991. Professor Gates is the author of Figures in Black: Words, Signs, and the Racial Self, Wonders of the African World, The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man, Loose Cannons: Notes on the Culture Wars, and Colored People: A Memoir. With Cornel West, he co-wrote The African American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Country and The Future of the Race. He is also the editor of the critically-acclaimed edition of Our Nig, an annotated reprint of Harriet E. Wilson’s 1859 novel, The Slave’s Narrative (with the late Charles T. Davis), Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience, Six Women’s Slave Narratives, and In the House of Oshugbo: Critical Essays on Wole Soyinka. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize.

From Our Editors

Born in slavery, Douglass, educated himself, escaped, and became one of the greatest leaders in American history. Here in one volume are his three autobiographical narratives: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself (1845); My Bondage and My Freedom (1855); and Life and Times (1881)