Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (English Edition) Kindle电子书
From School Library JournalGrade 9 Up-This classic text in both American literature and American history is read by Pete Papageorge with deliberation and simplicity, allowing the author's words to bridge more than 160 years to today's listeners. Following a stirring preface by William Lloyd Garrison (who, nearly 20 years after he first met Douglass, would himself lead the black troops fighting from the North in the Civil War), the not-yet-30-year-old author recounts his life's story, showing effective and evocative use of language as well as unflinchingly examining many aspects of the Peculiar Institution of American Slavery. Douglass attributes his road to freedom as beginning with his being sent from the Maryland plantation of his birth to live in Baltimore as a young boy. There, he learned to read and, more importantly, learned the power of literacy. In early adolescence, he was returned to farm work, suffered abuse at the hands of cruel overseers, and witnessed abuse visited on fellow slaves. He shared his knowledge of reading with a secret "Sunday school" of 40 fellow slaves during his last years of bondage. In his early 20's, he ran away to the North and found refuge among New England abolitionists. Douglass, a reputed orator, combines concrete description of his circumstances with his own emerging analysis of slavery as a condition. This recording makes his rich work available to those who might feel encumbered by the printed page and belongs as an alternative in all school and public library collections.
Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
From the Inside FlapThis dramatic autobiography of the early life of an American slave was first published in 1845, when its young author had just achieved his freedom. Douglass' eloquence gives a clear indication of the powerful principles that led him to become the first great African-American leader in the United States. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From AudioFileFrederick Douglass's autobiography takes us from his birth to the time he began his activities as an abolitionist. In a work filled with pain and pathos, Thompson's low-key and understated, at times almost deadpan, style of reading brings the passion and irony of Douglass's text into bold relief. It's the perfect way to read this intense work. One marvels at Douglass's ability to restrain intense emotion in describing the pain and injustice he endured as a slave and his longing to be free. M.T.F. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. --此文字指其他 kindle_edition 版本。
Crossing Over: Frederick Douglass’s Run for Freedom
The very first time I assigned Frederick Douglass’s Narrative was in the fall of 1972, in Boston, Massachusetts, when I was teaching a high school equivalency night-course for working adults. I remember the occasion well because one of the students complained to the school director that I was teaching hate. The class had met only once, and we had not yet discussed the book at all, so this student, a white nurse’s aide in her late twenties, directed her protest against the fiery book itself, which she took to be an attack upon her and all white people in America.
In a peculiarly American turn of events, the director, who like me was an African American, happened also to be one of my friends and hallmates at Harvard, where we both were working on our doctorates. In the night-school’s hallway, he told me about the complaint with a long, stern face, and then closed his office door so we could laugh until we nearly fell to the floor. “Ole Brother Douglass is still working them roots,” he said, sliding into the vernacular once we could speak in private. “Go easy on the lady,” he went on. “Gentle her into the twentieth century.”
At that time Douglass was not considered a canonical American author, though he did sometimes turn up in surveys of nineteenth-century writing and in courses with titles like “The Negro in American Literature.” The revolution in black literary studies was just beginning to catch fire; but still at Harvard, for example, there was no course in black literature offered at the graduate level, and the one such undergraduate course, in which I was a teaching assistant, was offered by a linguist through the Afro-American Studies Department. (It was an excellent course.) So it was not a shock that this young woman, a few years older than I and not yet a high school graduate, had never heard of Frederick Douglass. What was surprising was that this slender volume, with its antique figures of speech and rhetorical strategies (as well as literary structures that were so modern they seem to have influenced such creators of modern writing as Hemingway eighty years later) would strike her as so current in its potency that she wanted to swing back at it.
Part of the answer to the mystery of her response is that many of white Boston’s citizenry in the early seventies were literally up in arms against the “forced bussing” to and from schools and neighborhoods that had been as firmly closed to blacks and members of other groups considered unwelcome as were their counterparts in Mississippi or Alabama. No doubt my student was as unaccustomed to a black teacher as she was to a black author. (What on earth went through her mind when she discovered that the program director was black, too?!)
Does not this woman’s bewildered anger indicate that although the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave existed as a mightily effective political weapon, it is much more than a political weapon, which might have dulled over time? That it is also a work of art whose sentences, with their careful twists and balances and their high-speed locomotive drive, continue to evoke a direct, visceral response? Doubtless she felt the power of the book’s stark, biblical last-first/first-last language: the reverse-English of a man belonging to the group counted last in the American social hierarchy but who nonetheless became a leader of his people—meaning (though clearly my student did not realize it) not just blacks but all Americans and indeed all who love freedom.
With his Narrative, Douglass succeeded in offering his readers, and eventually also historians of American life, an unassailably reliable record of slavery from the viewpoint of one who had been enslaved. (It is important to realize that Douglass could not afford to exaggerate or get any name or detail wrong lest the proponents of slavery leap to declare him a fraud, as they were eager to do in the case of such an accomplished former slave.) But the book also brilliantly performed the aesthetic task of a work of art in depicting how it feels to be a human locked in a struggle against tyrannical odds for freedom and culture; a man seeking a place in a world where no place looks like home. In other words, yes, Douglass was still working those roots.
Douglass’s book lures its reader through the unrelenting power of its narrative line—perhaps literature’s most irresistible force. It is driven by impulses evidently built into the reflex and bone structure of Homo sapiens, the animal that wants a story. Douglass shapes his story to resonate with certain mythic patterns in the modern world. The Douglass of this narrative is a poor lost boy a long way from home, one who has no home to miss or to which he can return. With no place and nothing to call his own, no name, no birthday, no mother to whom he feels closely attached, no father to nurture or even to acknowledge him, this scarred and battered slave boy is an exile in the land of his birth. What Douglass the hero does not invoke is a sense of special honor or privilege based on lineage. He knows little about his past—either of his unknown white father’s side or his mother’s—and, even if he did, could make no claim to either side. This aligns him with many of America’s dispossessed immigrants, black and nonblack, who either were brought to the New World as slaves or who came here under dire economic distress. Having virtually nothing more than his own health, strength, will, and a strong sense that God’s mysterious power is on his side, Douglass’s task in the new land will be to improvise—that is, not just to find but to help create—a new way of life, a home at last.
Douglas is a pillar of the unwavering spirit to withstand atrocities, hardships and pain of life to overcome and succeed as one of the greatest Americans who has ever lived. Written in his own words (when teaching slaves to read and write was subject to sadistic punishment), this autobiography itself is a testament to Douglas’ courage.
As a Black parent who read this book years ago, I made it required summer reading for my kids to read once they enter middle school. The graphic brutality is apparent where anger could easily overcome your emotions, but the short read allows you to experience the triumph of Douglas towards the conclusion of the book, making contemporary racial strife child’s play in comparison to his plight and yet Douglas overcame.
This is not a black story but an American story that all people on the planet could benefit for it displays how human will and a enduring spirit can change things.
I recommend “Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln” by John Stauffer as a good companion to learning about Douglas friendship and influence of Lincoln. Enjoy!