Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

By Frederick Douglass, John R. McKivigan, IV (editor), Peter P. Hinks (editor) , Heather L. Kaufman (editor)

Book cover of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave: Written by Himself

Book description

One of the most influential literary documents in American and African American history, now available in a critical edition

"This edition is the most valuable teaching tool on slavery and abolition available today. It is exceptional."-Nancy Hewitt, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Rutgers University

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Why read it?

1 author picked Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This might seem like a strange pick, since it’s almost never described in terms of Gothicism.

Douglass’s narrative is essential reading regardless—a compelling narrative and one of the masterpieces of nineteenth-century literature. What makes it Gothic? In Douglass’s world, nothing is what it appears to be, because slavery has corrupted not only institutions but virtually all personal relationships. There are trap doors everywhere and a constant threat of violence.

A century and a half before Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Douglass’s book describes the Gothic horror of everyday life under slavery.

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