Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

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Simon and Schuster, Oct 16, 2018 - Biography & Autobiography - 912 pages
**Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History**

Named one of the Best Books of 2018 by The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, Time, and Smithsonian Magazine.

“Extraordinary…a great American biography” (The New Yorker) of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era.

As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery.

Initially mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass spoke widely, using his own story to condemn slavery. By the Civil War, Douglass had become the most famed and widely travelled orator in the nation. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. After the war he sometimes argued politically with younger African Americans, but he never forsook either the Republican party or the cause of black civil and political rights.

In this “cinematic and deeply engaging” (The New York Times Book Review) biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers. “Absorbing and even moving…a brilliant book that speaks to our own time as well as Douglass’s” (The Wall Street Journal), Blight’s biography tells the fascinating story of Douglass’s two marriages and his complex extended family. “David Blight has written the definitive biography of Frederick Douglass…a powerful portrait of one of the most important American voices of the nineteenth century” (The Boston Globe).
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nate48281 - www.librarything.com

The book is well written and not dry at all. The story is told through the eyes of a handful of various men, so the shifting of narratives and sometimes unnecessary details may jolt a few readers, but ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - labdaddy4 - www.librarything.com

All of the historical works by Manchester are easily read, engaging, and informative. The reader can plainly see the courage, determination, and strength displayed by the early pioneers in their ... Read full review

Contents

17
8
Contents Introduction 1 First Things
11
A Childhood of Extremes
19
The Silver Trump of Knowledge
39
Baltimore Dreams
48
Now for Mischief
67
Living a New Life
87
This Douglass
102
19
581
35
599
48
605
Joys and Sorrows at Cedar Hill
610
Watchman What of the Night?
638
Born Traveler
665
Servant Between Two Masters
691
If American Conscience Were Only HalfAlive
714

Garrisonian in Mind and Body
117
The Thought of Writing for a Book
138
Send Back the Money
156
Demagogue in Black
178
My Faithful Friend Julia
202
By the Rivers of Babylon
228
My Voice My Pen or My Vote
255
John Brown Could Die for the Slave
280
Taught by Events
310
The Kindling Spirit of His Battle
347
The Anthem of the Redeemed
355
Men of Color to Arms
385
Abolition War Abolition Peace xiii
416
Sacred Efforts
440
Othellos Occupation Was Gone
464
All the Leeches That Feed on You
495
Ventures
520
What Will Peace Among the Whites Bring?
551
Then Douglass Passed
745
Acknowledgments
765
Notes
771
67
773
102
774
116
775
138
776
156
784
178
788
252
792
280
797
310
798
335
827
Illustration Credits
859
Index
863
355
871
416
873
Copyright

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About the author (2018)

David W. Blight is Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He is the author or editor of a dozen books, including American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era; and Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory; and annotated editions of Douglass’s first two autobiographies. He has worked on Douglass much of his professional life, and been awarded the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize, among others.

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