Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: 4 1/2 Stars.
Born into a family of slaves, Frederick Douglass educated himself through sheer determination. His unconquered will to triumph over his circumstances makes his one of America’s best and most unlikely success stories. Douglass’ own account of his journey from slave to one of America’s great statesmen, writers, and orators is as fascinating as it is inspiring.
The book follows Douglass from his early years as a slave child, raised away from the brutality and ugly politics of Southern slavery, to his own encounters with sadistic masters, and his eventual escape to freedom. Although I was well aware of this facet of history, (I can’t count how many times I learned about the Civil War and Abolition in my high school history classes) this was still as horrifying and eye-opening as if I were completely ignorant to that time in America’s history. As disturbing and downright depressing as Douglass’ situation is at times, I still found myself empowered. Douglass exhibits such courage and intelligence despite his situation. It really makes you look at your own life and the things we take for granted.
One of the best aspects of this book, in my opinion, is that he wrote it himself. Despite the original controversy surrounding its publication back in 1845, today there is no doubt that Douglass not only taught himself to read and write in secret after his master forbid it, but he managed to write an extremely well-written book.
It’s fair to say this book kind of changed my life.
Have you read the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass? Let me know what you thought or if you think you’ll pick this one up.