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Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship
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Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  370 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
From the author of Lincoln: A Photobiography, comes a clear-sighted, carefully researched account of two surprisingly parallel lives and how they intersected at a critical moment in U.S. history. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were both selftaught, both great readers and believers in the importance of literacy, both men born poor who by their own efforts reached po ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
"I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy..."

—Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln & Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship, P. 11

When an individual or group is denied the right to edification as an intentional method of keeping them under the control of others, a serious problem is present that cannot quickly be remedied. For white owners of African-America
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A compelling book; a quick and fast-moving read. It didn't have much in the way of new information for me, and perhaps for many readers--even children--but the analysis, the setup, is worthwhile all the same. Freedman may not be the trendiest of nonfiction writers out there right now, but for my money he's still one of the best. This book (and his other books, those I've read) has none of the pandering, condescension, insupportable speculation, or clumsy attempts at "child appeal" that mark most ...more
Barb Middleton
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Sometimes I get a book and think, shucks, this is too hard for most of my half-pints. Throw in a very real picture of a black man hanging on a rope and I'm tossing it upstairs to the Middle or High School libraries. The reading level says this book is best for students at the end of 8th grade. Bummer. My loss, their gain. Actually my budget loss.

Frederick Douglass's life frames the first part of the plot. Born into slavery and fathered by an unknown white man, he was deemed trouble as a teenager
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Discussion Questions

remember List three (3) childhood experiences that Douglass and Lincoln had in common. (p.6-8 in Ch.2) (p.34-36 in Ch.4) (p.91 in Ch.9)

understand What does the expression "self-made man" mean?
(p.32 in Ch.4)

Apply How is the escape of Frederick Bailey (Douglass) similar to immigrants crossing the border between the United States and Mexico today? (p.19-21 in Ch.3)

analyze Compare and contrast the Civil War in 1861-1864 with the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. (p.30-31 in C
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"I was never in any way reminded of my humble origin, or of my unpopular color," said Douglass after his first meeting with President Lincoln.

After their second meeting he remarked "He did not let me feel for a moment that there was any difference in the color of our skins."

My third grader had to "perform" a book report on a biography and he chose Douglass as the subject. We checked out a slew of books on FD and this one was a little above his level of interest and stamina, but I couldn't stop
Mark Flowers
Jul 30, 2012 rated it liked it
It's not really clear to me what the point of this book is. There are more biographies of Lincoln that I can count (including Freedman's own excellent one), and there are plenty on Douglass as well (including Douglass's own, which Freedman quotes from extensively). The supposed hook for this book is the "friendship" between the two men, but that takes up all of about 15 pages of the text and apparently amounted to about 3 meetings between the men. He does make some connections between the two, w ...more
Edward Sullivan
A superb portrait of the remarkable friendship between these two great men, and the influence it had upon historical events and race relations.
Michelle Warner
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Title: Abraham Lincoln & Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship
Author: Russell Freedman
Illustrator: (if different than author)
Genre: Biography (Photo biography) 3-5
Theme(s): History, Friendship, politics, social, economics, war
Opening line/sentence: “Heads turned when Frederick Douglass walked into the White House on the morning of August 10, 1863.”
Brief Book Summary: This book shares the story of two men, who were born into poor families, who educated themselves, and
Riggen Snyder
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a book about two very important people in American history. What’s weird about this dynamic is that they had somewhat similar live with both of them being poor and ending up in positions of power in America. Half the book is an autobiography of Abraham and the other half is about Fredrick Douglass. Another part is also about Fredrick’s interactions with Abraham during the war. I honestly liked this book partly that it taught me about Fredrick Douglass which is a person in history I hadn’ ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book. The writing style is easy to follow for anyone. Freedman explores not just the two men's interactions with one another, but also their own backgrounds. He shows why their friendship was unique as well as the reasons for shared platforms.
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Russell Freedman is the award-winning author of 47 books, some of which have been translated into a diverse number of languages, including Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish, Flemish, Arabic and Bengali. But Freedman wasn't always a children's book writer.

He grew up in San Francisco and attended the University of California, Berkeley, and then worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Pre
More about Russell Freedman...