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My Bondage and My Freedom (The Frederick Douglas Papers, Series Two: Autobiographical Writings, Vol. 2)

My Bondage and My Freedom (The Frederick Douglas Papers, Series Two: Autobiographical Writings, Vol. 2) (Hardcover) by Frederick Douglass (Author), Professor John W. Blassingame (Editor), John R. McKivigan IV (Editor), Peter P. Hinks (Editor)

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With the publication of My Bondage and My Freedom in August 1855, former Maryland slave Frederick Douglass became the first black person to join a very select company of Americans to publish a second and entirely new autobiography. In the decade that had elapsed since Douglass wrote Narrative, he had become an accomplished journalist, adopted philosophical and political principles that would have been heretical in 1845, and risen to key leadership positions in the northern free black and American reform communities. This new edition of My Bondage and My Freedom, with a substantial introduction and extensive annotations, enables both scholars and general readers to appreciate a remarkable instance of the art of autobiography as well as a milestone in African-American intellectual achievement.


5 out of 5 stars One Man's Journey; Inspiration for a Nation, February 20, 2004

By James Hiller (Beaverton, OR) (TOP 500 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)       

This review is from: My Bondage and My Freedom (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)

Standing in line at the Lincoln Memorial, a book beckoned to me that I previously hadn't seen before. The face of Frederick Douglas grabbed my attention; a man that I've respected for many years, encountering him mainly through my study of Abraham Lincoln. On the spur of the moment, I snatched up a copy of "My Bondage and My Freedom", and within a few days, my admiration in Frederick Douglass was transformed from interest to awe.

Frederick Douglass [originally] penned his book as a response to people's accusations that someone as articulate and composed as he couldn't possibly be a former slave. With that goal in mind, Douglass wrote his memoirs, in a straight forward, powerful way. In the book, he painfully and honestly documents the path his early life took; the memories of being owned, how slaves coped during these times, and how he managed to pull himself out of it all.

While Douglass' life in itself is amazing, (as he describes the amazing process he undertook to learn how to read), what amazed me even more are Douglass' discourses that he sprinkles through the book, discussing relevant issues during the time. In one instance, he addresses the concern about why slaves simply didn't run away from their oppressive situations. It's almost as if you can actually hear the people talking to Douglass and he responding to them.

This book does not only tell the tale of a truly amazing American, but gives us a unique insight to the times. This book should be required reading in every high school in this country.

5 out of 5 stars I'm shocked to be the first to review this., September 28, 2001

By "pangloss_" (Los Angeles, CA United States)

This review is from: My Bondage and My Freedom (Black Rediscovery) (Paperback)

My Bondage and My Freedom, one of Douglass' several autobiographies, a very important book that should be read by anyone interested in United States history generally, or the crucial and often tragic role race has played in that history. Douglass, a former slave, was one of the few African-Americans who achieved prominence in the largely white, new england abolition movement. Douglass was an eloquent writer and (by historical accounts) speaker. His recounting of his experience as a slave, and his reflections on his role as a black former slave in America, are powerful.

5 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, April 26, 2006

By Anthony Plank "a/k/a The Diesenfranchised Cur... (Dallas, TX) (REAL NAME)    

This review is from: My Bondage and My Freedom (Black Rediscovery) (Paperback)

Having read a biography of Douglass many years ago, I thought I knew his story. Hearing through his pen was an entirely different matter. What a master of the language and [insightful] set of observations on human nature.

Note:  There are other volumes of The Frederick Douglass Papers available from Amazon, but there aren't enough to include a direct link to them.

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