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The Resource Frederick Douglass : prophet of freedom, David W. Blight

Frederick Douglass : prophet of freedom, David W. Blight

Label
Frederick Douglass : prophet of freedom
Title
Frederick Douglass
Title remainder
prophet of freedom
Statement of responsibility
David W. Blight
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • "The definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era. As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. He wrote three versions of his autobiography over the course of his lifetime and published his own newspaper. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery. Initially mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass spoke widely, often to large crowds, using his own story to condemn slavery. He broke with Garrison to become a political abolitionist, a Republican, and eventually a Lincoln supporter. By the Civil War and during Reconstruction, Douglass became the most famed and widely traveled orator in the nation. He denounced the premature end of Reconstruction and the emerging Jim Crow era. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. He sometimes argued politically with younger African-Americans, but he never forsook either the Republican party or the cause of black civil and political rights. In this remarkable biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historians have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass's newspapers. Blight tells the fascinating story of Douglass's two marriages and his complex extended family. Douglass was not only an astonishing man of words, but a thinker steeped in Biblical story and theology. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. David Blight's Frederick Douglass affords this important American the distinguished biography he deserves"--
  • "An acclaimed historian's definitive biography of the most important African-American figure of the 19th century, Frederick Douglass, who was to his century what Martin Luther King, Jr. was to the 20th century"--
Writing style
Award
  • ALA Notable Book, 2019.
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, 2018.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2018
  • Pulitzer Prize for History, 2019.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Yale historian Blight’s study of runaway slave-turned-abolitionist Frederick Douglass—a “radical patriot” and “prophet of freedom,” a “great voice of America’s terrible transformation from slavery to freedom”—benefits not only from Blight’s decadeslong immersion in the history of American slavery and abolitionism, but also from his access to privately owned sources unavailable to previous scholars. To Blight, Douglass’s character and ideology were rife with paradox, and in this huge and meticulously detailed study he unpacks apparent contradictions: Douglass’s unexpected happiness as an urban slave in Baltimore; his devotion to his wife, Anna, and their children, whom he rarely saw due to his constant travels as an abolitionist orator; his love for the promise he saw in America and hatred of how slavery had degraded it; his repeated revisions of his autobiographical writings as he reinterpreted his experiences; his second marriage to a white woman, an act both socially transgressive and opposed by his children. The Douglass who emerges from this massive work is not always heroic, or even likable, but Blight illuminates his personal struggles and achievements to emphasize what an extraordinary person he was. Though one might wonder, given Douglass’s extensive writings and the numerous works of scholarship discussing him, about the need for yet another biography, it turns out that there was much more to be learned about him. (Oct.)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 08/27/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 35, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Blight (Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director, Gilder Lehrman Ctr., Yale Univ.; Race and Reunion) has produced a comprehensive chronicle of Frederick Douglass (1818–95), abolitionist, orator, writer, and diplomat, using an exhaustive survey of existing research, including newspaper articles and family letters. Offering original insights into a man born on a plantation into the slave society of Maryland's Eastern Shore, the author presents Douglass as the oratorical and written voice of a generation who carried the fury and faith of African Americans to three continents throughout his varied public life. Blight also shares how Douglass went on to counsel U.S. presidents such as Ulysses S. Grant. VERDICT This magnum opus surpasses previous singular biographies in heft and depth, establishing an essential text for students and educators seeking to understand Douglass's complex and expansive narrative. It will appeal to general audiences and specialists alike. --John Muller (Reviewed 10/15/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 17, p67)
  • /* Starred Review */ A lengthy but easily digestible biography of the famed ex-slave, abolitionist, and autobiographer. In this superbly written book, Civil War and Frederick Douglass (c. 1818-1895) scholar Blight (American History/Yale Univ.; American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era, 2011, etc.), a winner of the Bancroft, Abraham Lincoln, and Anisfield-Wolf prizes, ably captures his complex subject from all angles. While many readers may be familiar with Douglass' escape from slavery, self-education, and early life (thanks to his autobiographies), most nonscholars are not as well-versed in the details of his later life—e.g., his role in the Civil War, political campaigning, fight for suffrage, complicated family relationships, and more. It's in these later years that Blight's work really shines; in fact, Douglass' early slave life and escape only cover roughly the first 100 pages of the 760-page narrative (followed by 100 pages of notes). From there, Blight makes the case for Douglass as an American prophet in the mold of the Old Testament's Jeremiah or Isaiah. Though he often scolded and admonished in his speeches and writings, often in King James-style vernacular, he also never gave up hope of a coming time of freedom for his black brethren. Douglass truly was the "prophet of freedom" all the way until his death in 1895, fighting for civil rights until the very end. While some readers may want more coverage of his early life, and perhaps more analysis of what Douglass means today, Blight viscerally captures the vitality, strength, and determination of his subject. For such a renowned figure, who was perhaps the most photographed and recognizable person of the 19th century, there is surprisingly little in the way of modern, full-scale, accessible biographies. Blight delivers what is sure to be considered the standard-bearer for years to come. A masterful, comprehensive biography, particularly of Douglass' Civil War, Reconstruction, and Gilded Age years and occupations. (Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2018)
Assigning source
  • Provided by publisher
  • Provided by publisher
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10732714
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Blight, David W
Dewey number
  • 973.8092
  • B
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
Index
index present
LC call number
E449.D75
LC item number
B557 2018
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Douglass, Frederick
  • Abolitionists
  • African American abolitionists
  • Slaves
  • Antislavery movements
  • Abolitionists
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
prophet of freedom
Label
Frederick Douglass : prophet of freedom, David W. Blight
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
First things -- A childhood of extremes -- The silver trump of knowledge -- Baltimore dreams -- Now for mischief! -- Living a new life -- This Douglass! -- Garrisonian in mind and body -- The thought of writing for a book! -- Send back the money! -- Demagogue in black -- My faithful friend Julia -- By the rivers of Babylon -- My voice, my pen, or my vote -- John Brown could die for the slave -- Secession : taught by events -- The kindling spirit of his battle cry -- The anthem of the redeemed -- Men of color to arms! -- Abolition war, abolition peace -- Sacred efforts -- Othello's occupation was gone -- All the leeches that feed on you -- Ventures -- What will peace among the whites bring? -- An important and lucrative office -- Joys and sorrows at Cedar Hill -- Watchman, what of the night? -- Born traveler -- Haiti : servant between two masters -- If American conscience were only half-alive -- Epilogue: Then Douglass passed
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Extent
xx, 888 pages
Isbn
9781416590316
Lccn
2018007511
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
(OCoLC)1022622448
Label
Frederick Douglass : prophet of freedom, David W. Blight
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
First things -- A childhood of extremes -- The silver trump of knowledge -- Baltimore dreams -- Now for mischief! -- Living a new life -- This Douglass! -- Garrisonian in mind and body -- The thought of writing for a book! -- Send back the money! -- Demagogue in black -- My faithful friend Julia -- By the rivers of Babylon -- My voice, my pen, or my vote -- John Brown could die for the slave -- Secession : taught by events -- The kindling spirit of his battle cry -- The anthem of the redeemed -- Men of color to arms! -- Abolition war, abolition peace -- Sacred efforts -- Othello's occupation was gone -- All the leeches that feed on you -- Ventures -- What will peace among the whites bring? -- An important and lucrative office -- Joys and sorrows at Cedar Hill -- Watchman, what of the night? -- Born traveler -- Haiti : servant between two masters -- If American conscience were only half-alive -- Epilogue: Then Douglass passed
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Extent
xx, 888 pages
Isbn
9781416590316
Lccn
2018007511
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
(OCoLC)1022622448

Library Locations

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