Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave & Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” as Want to Read:
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave & Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave & Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  733 ratings  ·  67 reviews
This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition combines the two most important African American slave narratives into one volume.

Frederick Douglass's Narrative, first published in 1845, is an enlightening and incendiary text. Born into slavery, Douglass became the preeminent spokesman for his people during his life; his narrative is an unparalleled account of the dehumaniz
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 10th 2000 by Modern Library
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave & Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,275)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Frederick Douglass hardly needs to be defended, right? In case you haven't read this, and think it might be speechy or difficult to read, it's not. Douglass is smart enough to know he doesn't have to tell you how to feel; his story is plenty gripping enough without editorializing. And while he's an eloquent writer, and will occasionally engage in rhetoric, the thing's only 100 pages long; it flies. (Besides, he earns his rhetoric. Remember that hundreds of slave narratives were written. Douglass ...more
For years I have devoured anything I could about the U.S. Civil War and the sociology of the antebellum nation. I can't account for how I'm only just now reading these books.

Frederick Douglass's oratory was one of the most persuasive forces for emancipation, as well as for the enlistment of black soldiers in the Union army, and is a beautiful thing to read (Northerners couldn't believe he had ever been a slave). I thus had high expectations for the account of his life from his own pen, and was n
I generally find writing from this time period difficult to read. Henry David Thoreau, for example, or Herman Melville, are like reading through oatmeal for me. I have long meant to read this particular book (really a long essay, weighting in at less than 75 pages), so yesterday, I did.

A few months ago in New York an eighth grade girl read this book and wrote an essay about how Douglas's words were still relevant to her experiences in a large, poor, and urban middle school. The young lady in que
These two books are sometimes very hard going, but essential reading for Americans. We probably tend to think about slavery very much in the abstract, when we even think about it, but these narratives make it painfully palpable and very human. In a way complementary to Akhil Reed Amar’s brilliant description of the way slavery thoroughly corrupted the American political system (in his America’s Constitution), these books reveal in detail the thoroughgoing and extraordinary moral perversion slave ...more
Junior M
The first half of the anthology is, "The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave". Within this slave narrative, Douglass tells his life when he was enslaved. My honest opinion about this book is that it is interesting. I do recommend this book for those readers who find slavery an interesting topic in American history or those who have an interest in learning about equality or just believes in equal rights. About this book i really disliked the pace of the book; in my opini ...more
What do I think about The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass? This book was sensational because of douglas's emotional stories. Douglass does an amazing showing, not telling, the readers about his miserable life as a slave and the tough tribulations he had to overcome to obtain the freedom he deserved. In his story, Douglass does a fantastic job in describing to the readers the importance of education in his life and in the present society. Douglass also includes his own thoughts in th ...more
At first I thought this book would be like Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass. They shared some similarities but I actually found this book more interesting. Seeing the mental abuse Jacobs went through with Mr. Flint her slave master, it made me eager to see what would happen next. Jacobs got in a lot of trouble with Mr.Flint and running away only made things worse. What was interesting was that she was half white. She had children with a white man and had to figure out how to get hersel ...more
Janet Gardner
Douglass does not spare (Though neither does he dwell unnecessarily on) the harsher aspects of slave life—the routine beatings and even killings, the casual (for the owners) separations of families and beloved friends, the (often successful) attempt to keep the enslaved in a state of ignorance so deep that many cannot imagine another way. As with Harriet Jacobs, I was impressed by the literary skill of a man who risked the lash merely to be seen with a newspaper in his hand. It’s hard for me to ...more
Both stories were a good read. Each depicted the same south environment, but their experiences were quite different. I would not consider this a "pleasure read" but more of an unknown necessity. There are viewpoints of the past that need to be shared that are not dictated by "the white perspective". These stories helped me to understand the real struggle that slaves had. The stories are very moving.
You hear the stories and you think you understand, but until you read a first hand account--you ha
How can I rate this book? How can I give this book 5 stars, it was amazing or give it 1 star didn't like it?

It was a 5 because these two people are amazing to me. I rarely find people I would consider a hero. In Harriet Jacobs I especially find heroism. Her strength and determination throughout her life is beyond remarkable. Her wit, her ability to see people for who they truly are. Her ability to trust some and be fearful of others helped her to succeed in becoming free. Her honesty was refres
Somehow, I’ve managed to never read Frederick Douglass’s classic account of slavery and freedom, in school or otherwise. It’s a pretty impressive story, if for no other reason than that one senses the greatness of the author. Having read his story, it makes sense that we give Douglass the air of a kind of second generation of Founding Fathers, along with Lincoln. The man speaks in ideals and holds onto his shred of optimism with a death grip.

What I didn’t appreciate until after I finished Jacob
`Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself', by Harriet Ann Jacobs, is a compelling read that provided me with a better understanding of the female slave experience in 19th century America.

Written under the pseudonym of Linda Brent, this narrative detailed the story of Jacobs from her childhood in the South, to her eventual escape to New York and reconciliation with her children.

Jacobs writes in a strong, clear voice from both a feminist and slave perspective. Her narrative is com
Assad Alam
The autobiography, Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, was personally a pain to read, but worth reading. The book is based on the life of a slave named Douglass. He faces many hardships in his life, and overcomes them by being cunning and secretive to the people around him. Douglass has the challenge of facing slavery head on with no support, and he makes it out of slavery alive with from the courage and determination from his yearning to become a free man. The world today may see this ...more
Briah Charles
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass:
Reading this narrative, it had it's ups and downs while reading. Some moments there was a connection with the characters of the book, where one can feel the pain a slave did, when they were whipped just because the slaveholders felt like getting violent. But the major downs of the narrative was that, some points of the book where long and drawn out where the focus and concentration began to decrease. It is a very informative narrative text, because wh
I enjoy many novels that are filled with fantasy and magic. This book was one that had neither of those. The first book in this anthology is The Narrative in the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American slave.. It is a anthology that deals with the issues of racial prejudice and inequalities. It is the story of a mulattos search for equality and acceptance. This part of the book had very riveting language but it was not rally me style. I would recommend it to people who really are inquisitive of ...more
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave was in interesting book. The fact that Douglass was not near his mom during slavery and knowing that his father was his master is very interesting because he still managed to survive and strive through his life. I like that Douglass was learning to read even-though he was not suppose to learn he still managed to teach himself. Douglass was smart because him knowing to read and write he got his chance to escape by writing his own ...more
Laury A
I believe that NARRATIVE IN THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS, AN AMERICAN SLAVE was an okay book. Even though it was a very short book, I believe that Douglass did an okay way of explaining how he lived his life during the times of slavery. He explains to his audience how he was taken away from his mother at a very young age so he was not attached to her. I believe that Douglass could have done a better job explaining how he was treated, what he did about it, and how he overcame everything. He wa ...more
Jean Dertelus
This is was a good book you would feel like your been through what both characters been through. Through the pain, sadness, and hunger. As you read this book Frederick is the first person you would read about. My favorite part when we reading this book is when Douglass starts to learn how to read and build his motivation to know what slavery meant and have his freedom. I believe that's the turning point of this story because without Douglass knowing have to read the book itself wouldn't been out ...more
Jenaya A.
In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass I found this book to be very emotional and motivational. From the harsh brutality his Aunt endured and Douglass witnessing that at a young age and to him actually seeing the unfairness of Mr.Auld not letting his wife teach Douglass how to read only enables him to want to proseper in life. I actually enjoyed the, book but the vocabulary kind of confused me a bit. Also, what made the book emotional for me was all the struggles Douglass had to go t ...more
The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave is about his compelling story of how he overcame slavery. In his narrative he depicts the horrors that he was forced to face throughout his daily life. He describes his struggles to gain his education from his master who tried to deprive him of it. His draws the reader in hopes of conniving people to be against slavery and support the liberation slaves in the South. He describes his fear of his fellow slaves because he had no idea of wh ...more
Wada King
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas is a good book. Douglass brings you the world of slavery and gives you precise descriptions of its horror. In the book Douglass tells you how he went through slavery without a mother or any family. At first he was very fortunate to have a mistress who was kind to him. Even though she did not fully teach him how to read but she built a foundation for him to fall on, and he used it to teach himself how to read and then write. Douglass got that inspira ...more
Maxime I.
I thought this was a very emotional and tragic book i have ever read. First, the Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, An american slave was a great example of a life of a slave boy growing up no father. This narrative just showed me that an individual could have an awful childhood and use it to make a better future for themselves.
Incidents in the life of a slave girl was a great book. It was about the life of a slave mother who grows up missing most of her children`s life and escaping sl
This book was ok. It was ok because it was an educational book that makes society learn more about slavery and about ancient history. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass was a memoir that taught me how slaves were effected by the wrong-doings of their slave masters. I also learned that Douglass struggled a lot based on his anecdotes. People should be grateful of having the opportunity of being educated because not a lot of people back in the day had the opportunity. Although The Narr ...more
Loiselle Gonzalez
I did not like the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass as much as I liked Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. In Douglass's narrative, he used many complicated vocabulary that distracted me from the story. I found the book to drag towards the middle, but the story was not completely tedious. There were many moments throughout the memoir where Douglass uses vocabulary to his advantage. For instance, when describing the fight with Mr. Covey, his vivid vocabulary helped me envision the i ...more
Jacob Guerrero
The Frederick Douglas narrative was a mediocre memoir. It consists of many anecdotes of the life of Frederick Douglas. Frederick Douglass was a slave that was born in the heavy evil racism of Maryland. Also, he does not have an opportunity of growing up with a family as he wishes he had. In the narrative, Frederick Douglass runs away from his slave roots to find a life for himself. He successfully finds an exit of the slave life and escapes. After escaping, he becomes a free slave and lives the ...more
Andres Magra
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass was a book that I found slightly interesting. The book tells the story of Frederick Douglass, a slave who becomes victim to the cruel accepted practices of his society. The only reason I liked the book was because it told a dramatic story. While the content of the narrative was interesting, it lacked the ability to captivate me completely because Douglass's coarse use of language. By that I mean that his language was somewhat obfuscating for me. I ...more
This book was very interesting and worth reading. It really gets the reader in depth into what the book is all about. When i read the book it helped me understand the pros of and the cons of slavery. This book shows what slavery is all about and what black people went through to with stand it. Frederick Douglass was an African American slave who stood up to what he thought was right. As a young boy he had no parents to support him through is transition from a child to a man. What he learned thro ...more
Zoraigna B
The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass was a good book to read. The book had Frederick Douglass use his point of views about slavery. This book showed that both slaves and slaveholders were affected by slavery in the south. This book shows the struggles that slaves had to go through,and how the families had to be separated from each other.What i really didnt like about the book was that Douglass described his and other peoples beatings very graphically.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave G
Christiana Cando
This Story was one of the books that makes you think twice about something. As I read this book I started to see the importance of having family, and how not having family to hold, and tell you that everything will ok. Even thought Douglass story was important I found it much to long and maybe because he was a male I did not feel connection. I could not really relate with him, and I felt as though his story was mostly write for male readers.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was a book I like
Nathalye Tm.
I did not really like The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass. It had a lot of gruesome scenes about people being whipped constantly and until they are either bleeding or dead. Douglass wrote about how he saw his aunt getting whipped and how sickening it was to see it. I do not like books that are like that because I just feel very disgusted when something this specific and descriptive is told. Douglass was known as a man who would tell everything how it is and when it comes to things like this ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 42 43 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Am I Not a Man?: The Dred Scott Story
  • The Notorious Mrs. Winston
  • The President, the Pope, And the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World
  • Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President
  • A Long Way from Home
  • Gun Guys: A Road Trip
  • Rommel: The Desert Fox
  • The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness
  • What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era
  • Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery
  • Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-1990
  • Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics
  • War of the Bloods in My Veins: A Street Soldier's March Toward Redemption
  • No Name in the Street
  • Black Power: The Politics of Liberation
  • My First Ladies: Twenty-Five Years As the White House Chief Floral Designer
  • Women, Culture, and Politics
  • Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity
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...
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass My Bondage and My Freedom Autobiographies Life and Times of Frederick Douglass Collected Articles of Frederick Douglass

Share This Book

“I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hatethe corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial, and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels.” 11 likes
More quotes…