Item description for Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave & Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Modern Library Classics) by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs & Kwame Anthony Appiah...
Overview Presents an autobiography of the famous abolitionist and statesman who escaped to the North after twenty-one years of enslavement, and reveals the exploitation of American American female slaves through first-person narrative.
Publishers Description Introduction by Kwame Anthony Appiah Commentary by Jean Fagan Yellin and Margaret Fuller " " This Modern Library edition combines two of the most important African American slave narratives--crucial works that each illuminate and inform the other. Frederick Douglass's "Narrative, "first published in 1845, is an enlightening and incendiary text. Born into slavery, Douglass became the preeminent spokesman for his people during his life; his narrative is an unparalleled account of the dehumanizing effects of slavery and Douglass's own triumph over it. Like Douglass, Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery, and in 1861 she published "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, "now recognized as the most comprehensive antebellum slave narrative written by a woman. Jacobs's account broke the silence on the exploitation of African American female slaves, and it remains essential reading. Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide
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Studio: Modern Library
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.96" Width: 5.19" Height: 0.96" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Oct 10, 2000
Publisher Modern Library
ISBN 0679783288 ISBN13 9780679783282
Availability 0 units.
More About Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs & Kwame Anthony Appiah
Frederick Douglass, born around1817, was the son of an African-American woman and a white slaveholder. Brilliant and brave, Douglass once led a minor insurrection against his masters--but unlike the famous Nat Turner, Douglass escaped his venture alive. While still a young man he fled, hungry and hunted, to the North, where he was befriended by abolitionists. His dramatic autobiography was published in 1845, creating a sensation and spurring Douglass's career as a militant, uncompromising leader of African-Americans. He recruited African-American volunteers for the Civil War and later secured and protected the rights of the freemen. Douglass later became secretary of the Santo Domingo Commission, Recorder of Deeds in the District of Columbia, and United States Minister to Haiti. He died in 1895. Peter J. Gomes was the minister at Memorial Church at Harvard University from 1974 until his death in 2011. Among his many books are The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart and Strength for the Journey: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living.Gregory Stephens is Lecturer of Cultural Studies and Film in the Department of Literature in English, University of West Indies--Mona. He is the author of On Racial Frontiers: The New Culture of Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, and Bob Marley. Previously he was an award-winning songwriter and journalist in Austin and Laredo, Texas, as well as a bilingual public school teacher (Spanish/English). He lives in Kingston, Jamaica.
Frederick Douglass was born in 1818 and died in 1895.
Reviews - What do customers think about Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave & Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Modern Library Classics)?
Essential reading for Americans Jun 7, 2008
These two books are sometimes very hard going, but essential reading for Americans. We probably tend to think about slavery very much in the abstract, when we even think about it, but these narratives make it painfully palpable and very human. In a way complementary to Akhil Reed Amar's brilliant description of the way slavery thoroughly corrupted the American political system (in his America's Constitution), these books reveal in detail the thoroughgoing and extraordinary moral perversion slaveholding caused in individual lives - to some extent those of slaves, but much more those of slave owners, poor southern whites, and complicit northerners. Of course we also see the brutality, horrors and deprivations of slave life.
Douglass' narrative is better known than Jacobs.' Among many other things, how he taught himself to write is a remarkable story of shrewdness and determination against all odds. Jacobs' was an appalling life of virtually constant sexual harassment from an early age, which was undoubtedly a normal situation for many female slaves. What she went through to escape it is hard to imagine, and her single-minded determination to see her children free is incredible. The picture she gives of the distortions slavery caused in slaveholding families - lecherous men unconstrained by law or convention, angry and vengeful wives, gossip and whispering among white and black children and adults, children sold by their fathers to get the family features and relations out of sight and mind, and the increasing corruption of individuals' characters this caused over time - again, hard going but essential reading. A peculiar institution, ordained by God, good for the slave and slaveholder alike. Indeed.
shatter the romance! Nov 24, 2002
simply astounding! totally shatters those awful and ever-infectious civil war era romantic notions. be gone, "gone with the wind!" many thanks be to the spirits of mr. douglass and ms. jacobs for surviving their tremendous struggles to give us truth! recommend these books to others (especially the crowd that chooses to separate the "human stock" question from intellectual discussions of the civil war era).
A potent pairing of two essential autobiographies Oct 23, 2001
"Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" (first published in 1845) and Harriet Jacobs' "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" (1861) are probably the two most powerful examples of the slave narrative. This literary form represents the first-person accounts of individuals who have lived as slaves. The Modern Library has paired these two essential American texts in a single edition, with an introduction by Kwame Anthony Appiah and commentaries by Jean Fagan Yellin and Margaret Fuller.
Together, "Narrative" and "Incidents" offer a male and female perspective on the institution that has left lasting scars on America. These texts are well written, and rich in social and political insights. Both authors graphically illustrate, for example, how the Judeo-Christan Bible and the Christian church were used as tools to support the racist system of slavery. Douglass provides a powerful window into the importance of literacy as a tool by which he escaped a slave mentality. And Jacobs incisively deconstructs the twisted strands of race, gender, power, and sexuality that tied together slaveowning culture.
"Narrative" and "Incidents" are compelling pieces of literature. Moreover, the authors' themes can be seen as foundational for many later works of United States literature: Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," Toni Morrison's "Beloved," Octavia Butler's "Kindred," and many other texts. Even a popular film like "The Matrix" echoes the slave narratives in some aspects.
Douglass and Jacobs are prime examples of writers who superbly combined literary craftsmanship with an intense political commitment. Their achievements make them crucial figures in the field of African-American studies. This combined edition of their outstanding books should be celebrated by teachers, students, reading groups, church study groups, and individual readers.