Life of Frederick Douglass Book Review

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is written by the ex-slave Frederick Douglass and recounts his life as a slave and his ambition to become a free man. This edition is edited with an introduction by David W. Blight, an American History teacher.

Blight was born in 1949 and raised in Flint, Michigan. After achieving his undergraduate degree he taught for seven years in a public high school, before he received his PhD at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985.

After teaching at Harvard and North Central College, Blight was a professor of American History at Yale University and Director of the Gilder-Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition. Blight was also a professor of History at Amherst College, where he taught for 13 years. His primary focus is the American civil war and its aftermath, and he has won many major historical awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Merle Curti Award, the Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize, for his works such as Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory and A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation.

Frederick Douglass was born a slave between 1817 and 1818, and, as was common with most slaves, is not sure of his exact birthdate as he was separated from his mother very soon after he was born. She died when he was seven years old. Though his father is unknown, it is suspected that it is his owner, Captain Anthony, the clerk of a rich man, Colonel Lloyd. Slaves’ living conditions on the plantation are brutal, where they are overworked, given minimal food, have little clothing, and no beds. Douglass’ life however, is not as hard as he serves in the household instead of in the fields because he is a child. When he is seven, he is given to Hugh Auld, in Baltimore where Douglass enjoys a relatively freer life because city slave-owners are more conscious of appearing cruel or neglectful toward their slaves in front of...
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