Synopses & Reviews
Narrative of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
, by Frederick Douglass
, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics
series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics
- New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
- Biographies of the authors
- Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
- Footnotes and endnotes
- Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
- Comments by other famous authors
- Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
- Bibliographies for further reading
- Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics
pulls together a constellation of influencesbiographical, historical, and literaryto enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. No book except perhaps Uncle Toms Cabin
had as powerful an impact on the abolitionist movement as Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
. But while Stowe wrote about imaginary characters, Douglasss book is a record of his own remarkable life.
Born a slave in 1818 on a plantation in Maryland, Douglass taught himself to read and write. In 1845, seven years after escaping to the North, he published Narrative, the first of three autobiographies. This book calmly but dramatically recounts the horrors and the accomplishments of his early yearsthe daily, casual brutality of the white masters; his painful efforts to educate himself; his decision to find freedom or die; and his harrowing but successful escape.
An astonishing orator and a skillful writer, Douglass became a newspaper editor, a political activist, and an eloquent spokesperson for the civil rights of African Americans. He lived through the Civil War, the end of slavery, and the beginning of segregation. He was celebrated internationally as the leading black intellectual of his day, and his story still resonates in ours.
Robert OMeally is Zora Neale Hurston Professor of Literature at Columbia University and the Director of Columbia Universitys Center for Jazz Studies. He wrote the introduction and notes to the Barnes & Noble classics edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
In the most seminal slave narrative ever written, Frederick Douglass writes, "From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom." Reading this narrative is to witness the birth of new literary presence, one that counts W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Angela Davis, and Toni Morrison among its progeny.
Robert G. O'Meally is Zora Neale Hurston Professor of Literature at Columbia University
and the Director of Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies.
About the Author
is Zora Neale Hurston Professor of Literature at Columbia University and the Director of Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies. He wrote the introduction and notes to the Barnes & Noble classics edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn