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The Complete Autobiographies (The Autobiographies #1-3)

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  372 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Here in one omnibus edition are all three of Frederick Douglass' landmark autobiographies. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is one of the most influential autobiographies ever written. This classic did as much as or more than any other book to motivate the abolitionist to continue to fight for freedom in American. Frederick Douglass was born a slave, he escaped ...more
Hardcover, 572 pages
Published January 21st 2008 by Wilder Publications (first published 1994)
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Fredrick Douglas is one of my heroes. This book was a cornerstone in prison. It taught us how to insist on freedom, even when we didn't have it. Reading this book changed my relationship with the guards entirely. I can't think of a single piece of writing that has effected my life more.
Jan 17, 2008 W.B. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
The Autobiography slew me. So important and expressed so rendingly ...what really strikes one is the complete absence of self-pity and the almost terrifying objectivity he is able to maintain as he describes the horrible details of his life, the casually procrustean culture of slavery America...the very entity which casually excised his family from him, forever denying him maternal and paternal love, fraternal love, the gift of owning one's own much was denied him that it would take da ...more
Can't remember what I read excactly by Douglass, except that I got part of the narrative of his childhood, his escape, his new life, and his thoughts on reconstruction. It was really quite startling, and not in the way I expected. It's no secret that his story would have some horrific moments, but some of the smaller details were pretty raw, like when he related that he had heard people in the North insist that slaves must be happy because they sang. Perhaps it was because that kind of moment se ...more
JoséMaría BlancoWhite
Indeed this is a testimony that covers most of 19th century American history. I don't know how any person claiming to be American can legitimately do so without having read any of the autobiographies collected here. It should be a requirement for citizenship (instead of the unmerited fact of being born). If there is no doubt that Douglass was an extraordinarily talented writer, the marvelous thing is that his soul was no less extraordinary than his mind.

“Upon this pro-slavery platform the war ag
I read the first of Douglass' three autobiographies, the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Douglass is a good storyteller, evoking powerful and moving scenes from his slave experience and presenting interesting characters. In this book he did not describe his escape, because he didn't want to do anything that would negatively affect those who helped nor cut off a possible escape route for others. One can only imagine what his former slaveholders who are mentioned in ...more
Jim Gold
I found Douglass's story really interesting. Born around 1818, he escaped to freedom in 1838 from his life as a slave on Maryland's Eastern Shore and in Baltimore. Just a few years later, after becoming acquainted with prominent abolitionists, he was invited to speak at a gathering and was a sensation. In 1845, he published his first autobiography, which provides both his personal experiences as a slave and his thoughts on slavery as an institution. His writing was (and is) so eloquent that some ...more
Kate Gukeisen
The "Narrative of the Life of Federick Douglass" is the powerful story of Douglass’ first-hand experience as a slave, his escape from slavery, and the genesis of his involvement in the abolitionist movement. The frank descriptions and complex subject matter of this authentic text make this book a valuable informative text for older middle school students (7th and 8th grade) in the context of social studies, history, and language arts.
Rinchen Dolma
I thought this narrative was brilliant. It evoked my sense of justice for the people who are racially discriminated. Fredrick Douglass is a great writer. Through using literary elements such as imagery, metaphor and many more, Douglass illustrates the reader the pain and the discrimination that the slaves had to suffer through. I will recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learninga about slavery.
Douglass is a classic of American literature, so there's not a whole lot that I can add. He is a giant among writers, a continuing testimony against the horrors of slavery and racism. Like a lot of school children, I read selections from his works many years ago. I remember the usual platitudes sung in his praise about being a "self-made man," or his closeness with President Lincoln. While it's great that he has become a standard in the pantheon of textbooks, it's a curse in some ways. His words ...more
Hands down my favorite book.
Debbie Reeder
An eye opening book!
Aug 17, 2007 Dave rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs
Amazing memoir!
Daniel Lang
Frederick Douglass in my opinion is the greatest of all Americans. He was a man who lived according to a righteousness not of this earth. Where the founding fathers of the US were absolutely hypocritical in the their word and ideals there was no contradiction found in Frederick Douglass. Not only did he stand absolute for the personhood of his people, he stood resolute in not obtaining this rightful freedom by violent means. When very few men would stand for equal standing for women, Frederick D ...more
Jane De vries
Unlike Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom" This is a real person. His autobiography did must to spur on the Civil War. Even knew Lincoln.

Amazing what he endured and yet he moved forward in spite of it.
Dave Moran
I saw 12 Years a Slave and was moved to read this as a kind of compendium to the movie. The narrative is only a bit over 100 pages but is so remarkable, both in style and substance, that it blew me away. I read it in high school but reading it as an adult was far more enriching. I don't remember reading the appendix on religion but it's so relevant to the county's current religious condition. I'm sure I'll come back to this book again.
Skúli Pálsson
Mögnuð frumheimild um þrælahaldið. Maðurinn sjálfur er merkilegur.
"The Narratives of Frederick Douglass:" Great as usual!
Freedom, progress, and contribution besieged by the brutalizing and horrifying beast of American slavery. Slavery loses!
A peripheral note to a powerful statement:

What style to employ in describing the searing, colossal affront to humanity that is slavery?

To 21st Century readers, Douglass's understated, elegant prose seems detached, unengaged, almost clinical. This is not Malcolm X, Eldridge Cleaver or Stokely Carmichael. How much here is a demonstration of mastering 19th Century literary convention -- largely untrodden territory for black writers -- and how much a self-preserving distancing from mind-numbing expe
I managed to finish the first two autobiographies but got bogged down in the third which was fairly repetitious for the first 300 or so pages. Then I skipped around some and was basically not too enthralled with his work within the Republican party, the name dropping, or later recollections. I didn't finish the last book. Would like to try again someday when the other two are not so fresh in my mind.
This book is three autobiographies by Frederick Douglass, of course it is going to be good. I suggest, you read Life and Times of Frederick Douglass because it is the last one he wrote and he basically added on his later years to My Bondage and My Freedom. FYI, if you read all three starting from the beginning of this book you'll be rereading a lot of the same stuff.
Craig J.
"Frederick Douglass : Autobiographies : Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave / My Bondage and My Freedom / Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (Library of America) by Frederick Douglass (1994)"
Jacqueline Toce
It was really good. I didn't really finish it though because there were multiple biographies and you would read one and then start reading the next one and then it was like deja-vu. So, you'll have to read it a little at a time.
Winter Sophia Rose
Very Educational & Excellent Book!
Kevin Goodin
Me personally I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. I'm not into books like this one. It wasn't a bad book but not a book I would consider reading myself.
James Violand
Jun 29, 2014 James Violand rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone.
Shelves: own
A must read for any student of American history. It shows why Douglass will always remain one of the greatest Americans, black or white.
Very well written account considering Frederick taught himself how to read and write. Remarkable insight for a young man.
Excellent historical narrative of a fascinating time in history. Excellent account of slavery in all its forms.
Alan Mauerman
I read this several years ago and found it inspiring.
Liked it very much.
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Frederick Douglass: the Autobiographies, and the Man 1 1 Mar 08, 2015 06:51PM  
  • Speeches and Writings, 1859-1865
  • Writings
  • The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It
  • James Madison: Writings
  • John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights
  • Dostoevsky: The Mantle of the Prophet, 1871-1881
  • Writings
  • Main Street / Babbitt
  • Pierre, Israel Potter, The Piazza Tales, The Confidence-Man, Tales, Billy Budd
  • Writings: Autobiography/Notes on the State of Virginia/Public & Private Papers/Addresses/Letters
  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, A Death in the Family, and Shorter Fiction
  • Collected Essays and Poems
  • The Debate on the Constitution : Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches, Articles and Letters During the Struggle over Ratification, Part Two: January to August 1788 (Library of America)
  • Travels With Charley and Later Novels, 1947-1962
  • Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War
  • Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Novels and Stories: The Call of the Wild/White Fang/The Sea-Wolf/Klondike and Other Stories
Frederick Douglass (née Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey). Born as a slave in Maryland in 1818, he was to become a renowned abolitionist, editor and feminist. Escaping from slavery at age 20, he renamed himself Frederick Douglass and became an abolition agent. Douglass traveled widely, often at personal peril, to lecture against slavery. His first of three autobiographies, The Narrative of the ...more
More about Frederick Douglass...

Other Books in the Series

The Autobiographies (3 books)
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • My Bondage and My Freedom
  • Life and Times of Frederick Douglass
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass My Bondage and My Freedom Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave / Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Life and Times of Frederick Douglass Collected Articles of Frederick Douglass

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“I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” 128 likes
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