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Publisher's Summary

This classic of American literature, a dramatic autobiography of the early life of an American slave, was first published in 1845, when its author had just achieved his freedom. It is a story that shocked the world with its first-hand account of the horrors of slavery. The book was an incredible success. It sold over 30,000 copies and was an international best seller. His eloquence gives a clear indication of the powerful principles that led Douglas to become the first great African-American leader in the United States.

Public Domain (P)2015 Gildan Media LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • JC
  • 11-28-16

Made Me Cry & Laugh!

I greatly appreciate the opportunity to have been able to listen to this biography! The will of the human spirit is palpable long after Mr. Douglass' death and I'm proud to know the type of stock I come from; blacks are not just victims to the harsh institution of slavery/ America but also how through personal responsibility one can find mental and physical freedom in the face of incredible odds. At times I laughed and at times I mourned for my ancestors in reading this book but I thoroughly delighted in all of it! I highly recommend this narrator because I enjoyed hearing the voice of a black man read the biography...it connected it more for me and made the book come alive!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Appropriate Audio

Loved that the accent was never exaggerated and if I am not mistaken, this is one of ONLY TWO recordings of this great novel that are made in a Black man's voice. Great job.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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LISTEN! Read his history in his own powerful words!

While I have known the name of Frederick Douglass from my youth, I had never previously read his autobiographical account. It is so much more powerful to read his story in his own words than to hear historical facts, usually told merely as the background to the Civil War, rather than as the powerful story of the most prominent example of a people longing to be free. His eloquence and education upended the justifications not just of slave holders, but those who rationalized their own prejudices. Read it!! Have your kids read it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A fantastic story every American should read!

Douglas paints an incredible portrait of his life as a slave and his struggle for freedom. It highlights the dark history of the United States with incredible detail.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A masterpiece!<br />

An amazing look at US history. Fredrick Douglas became a distinguished writer against all odds.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Chilling. Necessary.

This should be required reading for everyone. Douglass is a powerful orator and the narrator does a fantastic job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The history that mustn't be ignored

Several times during this story I cried, my breath stopped and I had to repeat to make sure I heard it correctly. A piece of American history that everyone claiming to be educated folks need to reflect on. How much have we evolved as human species since way back when this took place? It is a very topical story as we still face times of deep injustice to too many fellow human beings. Listen to it! Read it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing performance

Read with great candor and such a moving piece on it's own. A must read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Narrative of Frederick Douglass

Real,authentic, terrifying and relevant...my only regret is not being able to meet this man

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Vivid Account of The Horrors of Slavery

The strength of the book is certainly upon the content of the words brillantly written by Frederick Douglass. It gives a real on the ground account of life as a slave, particularly the methods used by slave masters to drain the humanity right out of these people. The account is so telling. it's almost shocking such things actually happened on this soil. Frederick manages to take the listener with him, no matter where he is taken against his will.

The bonus to this story was the narration, it perfectly reflected in my imagination how Frederick would have conveyed certain moments of humor and irony if he were telling us the story himself.

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  • Jane
  • 05-04-16

Slavery :(

What did you like most about Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass?

The narration was brilliant. You could imagine it was Frederick himself telling the story.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The description of everyday life and the punishments handed out by the slaveholders and overseers was very good but very saddening.

Any additional comments?

When Frederick wrote the book he wasn't thinking that it would be read 150 years later! He left out details of his escape and other details for fear of giving too much away or causing embarrassment to people he respected.