Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Summary

An Apple Books Classic edition.

Self-educated speaker and author. 1872 vice-presidential nominee. The 19th century’s most photographed man. Frederick Douglass, an enslaved man, went on to become one of the most celebrated freedom fighters in U.S. history. His autobiography, published in 1845, maps out his life story in vivid, often heartbreaking detail.

After learning the alphabet from a slaveholder’s wife, Douglass covertly learned to read with the help of some white children in town. Once he was sold to a slaveholder known for his cruelty, Douglass risked his life to escape north, disguised as a free Black sailor. Ten years later, that daring escape was almost for naught when the release of his book brought him attention that could have led to his recapture. Douglass initially fled the country, but returned when his supporters raised the funds to secure his status as a free man. For the rest of his life, Douglass continued to speak out against slavery, becoming famous for his impassioned speeches and incredible life story.

Book Reviews


A must read5 star

Mind blowing first hand experience of life during the Slave era. Hauntingly captivating to read the day to day life55


A necessary read5 star

This should be required reading in America.55


Informative5 star

Good details in the text. Works well with a vivid imagination.55

Movie Anarchist

A First-Hand Account of the Horrors of Slavery5 star

A vivid description of the abhorrent treatment of Douglass as a slave, as well as his observations and his thoughts, from the time he was a young boy until his escape many years later. He recounts the disparate treatment he received from different masters and "overseers" through these, seemingly countless, years ("Seemingly countless" has literal meaning because, until he taught himself to read and write, he had no knowledge of the months of the year, or the days of the week). And while he was treated savagely and without mercy by some, and less so by others, it's only a matter of degree, not status. Interestingly, he was probably "lucky" to have been enslaved in Maryland, and not in Alabama, or the "deeper" South. Do yourself a favor and just read it.55


Narrative Life5 star

A gripping story that was hard to put down! An absolutely must read!55


Eloquence in describing a dark time in History5 star

This is a moving story so well told that one feels they are present during the ravages and cruelty of slavery, that was allowed and promoted by the Christian people of both the North and South. Difficult to read in that it is a moving story of the evils that were allowed to exist in our country. Definitely worth a read.55


One of the best perspectives of the world5 star

I love how Frederick Douglass appreciates the ability to read. Often times I feel that I take that gift for granted. Instead of reading inspiring and truthful words, sometimes I find myself reading falsehoods and intellectually intrusive ideas, and it is in those moments that I remind myself that the ability to read is one of the most powerful attributes one can attain. Let us not waste such a tremendous gift.55


Narrative of the life of Fredrick Douglass5 star

I found myself gritting my teeth and clinching my jaw at the atrocity brought upon my fellow man. I found myself cheering on when Mr. Douglass stood up for his humanity and shouted for joy at his escape. He is an inspiration for all who read this book.55


Required Reading5 star

The importance of keeping the true narrative of Slavery is paramount to understanding where we are now and how little progress we have made accepting and embracing our broken and misrepresented history. We cannot understand where we are without understanding where we’ve been. Change must happen forthwith. We cannot allow this to happen anymore.55


Wow!5 star

Every American should be required to read this. Truly one of the most important books ever written.55

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