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Friday, February 16, 2018

Book Review: "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Written by Himself"

Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Douglass’s autobiography is hard to read and hard to put down.

His commitment to minceless truth-telling of the disturbing realities of American chattel slavery makes reading it painful. It would be far easier to look away.

But the writing is straightforward, clear, open-eyed. I was drawn into his story and was surprised when it was over so soon. I think everyone with an interest in American history and race relations should read it.

(By the way, the Yale University Press edition is an excellent way to access it. They provide ample notes on the text including copious details of the pushback Douglass received. There is also an orienting foreword, a timeline of Douglass’ life, etc. It really helps put it into context.)

View all my Goodreads reviews.