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Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom | David W. BLIGHT
28 posts | 8 read | 5 reading | 30 to read
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 travelled 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 historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglasss newspapers. Blight tells the fascinating story of Douglasss 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 Blights Frederick Douglass affords this important American the distinguished biography he deserves.
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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Pickpick

This was a beast of a book. 900 pages - 40 audio hours. I knew before going in that my American history is incredibly bad. But the thing I learned went far beyond Douglass' life.
Some of the criticism (especially of the women in his life) I found potentially problematic. I felt a lot of the authors opinions might have been better left out. But it did bring an extra layer of interest to the book. And a real reason to do more research.

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alexa_d

I've been trying so hard the whole middle third of this book to be a good feminist and give Ottilie Assing the benefit of the doubt, and I intend to read a bio of her just to be sure Blight isn't inordinately biased against her, but since I just got to Helen Pitts's entrance: THANK GOD, SHE'S ALMOST OUT OF THE PICTURE. Of all the women who were in love with him, why did he keep the most irritating one around for almost 30 YEARS???

ChaoticMissAdventures My thoughts too! I am sure she had some qualities Douglass could see. And she seemed to help out a bit financially with the papers. But overall Blight really paints her as a total nuisance and a bore. I just finished this book and am so glad I am not alome in this. I also need to read more about her from a different POV. 1w
4 likes1 comment
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alexa_d
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SW-T 😊😊😊 2w
3 likes1 comment
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alexa_d
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"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will."

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alexa_d
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I had thought #Audible lost my place in this #audiobook a few months ago, so I gave up on it (though always intending to go back). Since I decided that September is #Pulitzer month (History, 2019, in this case), I redownloaded it only to find it did still have my place saved! It's Harper's Ferry time… 😧

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8little_paws
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About to read another chapter in the very interesting tagged book but sharing a picture of my special little gal first ❤

wanderinglynn So cute! ❤️🐱 2mo
theshrinkette WINNIE! ❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
Readage She looks just like my special little girl! ❤️ 2mo
overtheedge Adorable!😻🌟❤ 2mo
55 likes4 comments
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Floresj
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Pickpick

This was a monster of a book! Well researched and thorough, Blight delivers an impeccable biography of Douglas- who‘s words are still applicable. You could learn almost everything about American history through reading about Douglas‘s life: slavery, compromises to keep the Union, fugitives, politics, Civil War, Lincoln, suffrage (women‘s and blacks), corruption, political system, affirmative action, Reconstruction, civil rights, lynchings, etc.

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Graywacke
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Pickpick

(Pictured: Frederick Douglass in his 60‘s with his 2nd wife, Helen Pitts, seated, and Helen‘s sister, 1884)

His life covers a long track - slavery, escape, abolition, Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and an epidemic of lynching. Along the way are his owners, family, the abolitionist movement, his newspapers, the key women he depended on, his involvement in government and his tireless speaking tours. A special intellect and a fascinating story.

Graywacke I should add, it‘s a long book with many elements. It loses some steam here and there, but tends to quickly recover as it touches on so many interesting things. 2mo
46 likes1 comment
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Theaelizabet
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My new nonfiction read. A major shout out and thanks to @Notafraidofwords for graciously sending this book to me!

Graywacke Cool! I‘ve listening to it on my commutes. 3mo
Theaelizabet @Graywacke I‘ve seen some of your posts about it. Can‘t wait to read your review. I‘m on chapter 6, so early days, but loving it, so far. 3mo
Mitch Im so looking forward to reading this - think i might clear the whole of August! 3mo
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Theaelizabet @Mitch I might STILL be reading it during August! 3mo
SamAnne Plan to start this month. 2mo
37 likes6 comments
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Notafraidofwords
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Pickpick

So this was a monster of a book, but a worthy read. I feel like I learned so much about Douglass but even more about the era. He saw so much history happen and it feels impossible for me to even imagine it. I read about twenty pages a night, so it took forever. Yet, it was also very interesting. So, some weekends I would binge read it. I recommend !

ReadingEnvy I think you were just starting this last time we chatted! Good on ya! 3mo
Pedrocamacho One of the best biographies I‘ve ever read. Immersive Fredrick Douglass 😊 3mo
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Graywacke
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Started this on audio today. At 37 hours, should keep me busy a while. The first 15 minutes were really elegant.

Theaelizabet I‘m both listening and reading Jill Lepore‘s These Truths and am currently at The Civil War section. Was just thinking that the Frederick Douglas bio might be my next nonfiction read. 4mo
Graywacke @Theaelizabet I‘ve thought of that Jill Lepore book a lot. How are you liking it overall? 4mo
Graywacke @Theaelizabet Lisa Peet on LT convinced me to dive into the Frederick Douglass - because she liked it and because she noted into spends a lot of time looking into the world of abolitionism. 4mo
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Theaelizabet @Graywacke Lepore‘s book is terrific, but it offers hundreds of jumping off points in the historical timeline where you really want to know more. Re: Abolition, don‘t miss Henry Gate‘s documentary about reconstruction on PBS. 4mo
Graywacke @Theaelizabet Ok. I might follow up this with that. (Gates, PBS...thanks! 👍) 4mo
RaimeyGallant Omg, that's longer than any audiobook I've ever attempted. 4mo
Graywacke @RaimeyGallant 🙂I‘ve done longer before. Nonfiction tomes... good for commutes and saving audible credits. This is one is particularly well written, so I‘m loving listening. 4mo
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melissajayne
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“The best friend of a nation is he who most faithfully rebukes her for her sins - and he her worst enemy who, under the specious...garb of patriotism seeks to excuse, palliate or defend them.” This was written by Douglass in April 1846 to Horace Greeley. It is true as ever. #resist #resistance #fridayreads #nonfiction #quotes

melissajayne It was of course written about slavery but I think the sentiment still rings true. 5mo
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RealBooks4ever
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So happy to hear that these books won Pulitzer prizes! 💜 🏆🏆

Leftcoastzen Me too ! 5mo
28 likes1 comment
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RealBooks4ever
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I listened to 50% of the audiobook and had to take a break from SO MUCH MINUTIAE! The style makes for a well-researched project, but I was looking for something just a bit less immersive. I hope to return to this book someday and finish it up.

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Pedrocamacho
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Pickpick

Read this book to live, breathe, and sleep Fredrick Douglass. It is deeply penetrating and presents a full portrait of Douglass from his most moving antebellum oration to feuds with his competitors to his time playing with his grandchildren. In terms of depth, this is probably the best biography I‘ve read.

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Notafraidofwords
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Y‘all, I have less than 200 pages to go on this book. I‘ve been reading this chunkster since the beginning of January. I can‘t believe my commitment hasn‘t wavered, slowly but surely I‘ll get there. Will review when done!

j9brown I've been very interested in this but the size really puts me off. So long and too dang heavy to carry around! 6mo
charl08 Nicely done. I'm about ten pages in! 6mo
Notafraidofwords @j9brown I got the physical book and a library ebook so I could switch between both. I didn‘t read it everyday, because I read other things. However, this book is extremely interesting and the pacing only felt slow during the civil war period. 6mo
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Notafraidofwords @charl08 it‘s so good. The pacing for this is wild, because it really does read like fiction. 6mo
BellaBookNook This is one I have wanted to read since before it was released but my chunkster phobia keeps holding me back! 6mo
Notafraidofwords @BellaBookNook I‘ve been at it since January 1st so yes it‘s long!! 6mo
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melissajayne
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Love when non-fiction books bring in quotes from fiction.

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melissajayne
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Finished my day with this. Could only get through about 23 pages of the book before putting it down (It‘s a very good book). Had a frustrating night yesterday and bled into today. Didn‘t read much for #24b4monday. And I have to work tomorrow (I work as a dishwasher these days and Sundays can be busy)....

Libby1 Hope things get better. 🦋 7mo
Andrew65 Thanks for taking part. Hope things do get better for you. 😊👍 (edited) 7mo
LiteraryinLititz Hang in there and sorry you‘re having a rough weekend! 7mo
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melissajayne @Libby1 it happens 7mo
melissajayne @Andrew65 I‘m going to read once I get home from work; just can‘t read during the day today. 7mo
melissajayne @LiteraryinLititz it‘s just one of those weekends. 7mo
Andrew65 @melissajayne Good luck with any reading you get in around work. 😊 7mo
25 likes7 comments
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BookishMarginalia
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This #BookStack contains all the physical books I am #CurrentlyReading 🤷🏻‍♀️😇🤓 — update: oops! I forgot March 3 😬

melissajayne Heard an interview with the author of the Douglas biography on Just the Right Books. 7mo
CatsCoffeeAndBooks Also reading early riser! 7mo
146 likes2 comments
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Tamra
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Any ideas as to why I couldn‘t find this in the biography or history section of BN? I had to ask and the one & only copy was tucked in a small “cultural studies” shelf spine down. I wouldn‘t have found it without asking. 😯

cobwebmoth That's weird. 7mo
8little_paws That's.....odd. 7mo
Notafraidofwords @8little_paws that happened to me too. 7mo
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BookishMarginalia Last time I was at a B&N in Sarasota, this book was on a display table with other new biographies and histories. 7mo
Tamra @BookishMarginalia I looked at the Bio & non-fiction table twice figuring I had missed it! 7mo
8little_paws It got a rave review on the b&n blog even! 7mo
Tamra I will say I spent some time with the cultural studies shelf tagging some books for TBR, so time wasn‘t wasted. 😁 @cobwebmoth @8little_paws @Notafraidofwords @BookishMarginalia (edited) 7mo
8little_paws I'm hoping to start this book probably in april. I have another chunky history book to read first. 7mo
Tamra @8little_paws I saw that one too and I was tempted! (edited) 7mo
ohyeahthatgirl If they don't have a separate African Amer. Interest section, sometimes they lump any non-fic with black ppl in it in Cultural Studies. Corporate decides where bks are shelved, with help from publisher suggestions. (I'm a former bkseller) 7mo
ohyeahthatgirl Also, that book is probably listed for one of the front tables, but they like to leave at least one in the section. 7mo
mdhughes72 This one is hard to hide too! I‘m working my way slowly through this at the moment. 7mo
Tamra @ohyeahthatgirl somebody must have snagged on the table because I figured it would be there too! 7mo
Tamra @mdhughes72 no kidding! 7mo
95 likes5 stack adds15 comments
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mdhughes72
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So I haven‘t quite mastered the art of flipping the omelette, but I‘m hoping it tastes okay.

Maude I have the same problem, they usually taste great anyways :) 8mo
Tamra I have my eye on this biography! 8mo
mdhughes72 @Tamra I‘m glad, because I‘m not sharing my food! 8mo
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mdhughes72 @Maude it did taste great. They‘re hard to screw up. 8mo
Suet624 Hahaha. Yup, my eggs look like that too. 7mo
76 likes6 comments
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Notafraidofwords
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Got myself something for Three Kings Day! My heart is ready for this chunkster.

Tamra Oh I have my eye on this - I think I‘m going to use a gift card to purchase because it isn‘t one that‘s a good library check out given the length. It‘s probably a savor a chapter at a time. 😊 8mo
BellaBookNook Oh I‘m so jealous!! I really want to get this book! Can‘t wait to hear your thoughts. 8mo
Notafraidofwords @Tamra oh yeah I thought the same. Plus I won‘t finish in two weeks. So, buying it is worth it. 8mo
Notafraidofwords @BellaBookNook I‘ll review it in about a year ! 8mo
81 likes4 comments
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mdhughes72
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A Christmas present from my son ❤️

Tamra Lucky you!!! 9mo
Reviewsbylola What a striking portrait. 9mo
84 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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JLaurenceCohen

There are a lot of biographies of Frederick Doulgass, but this new one by Blight looks amazing.

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TracyReadsBooks
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These are the 10 best books of the year according to the New York Times. I haven‘t read any of them yet but like most such lists, it will likely add to my TBR stacks. Any favorites on here? Recommendations for which to start reading first?

TrishB I‘ve read 2 and liked them and have another 2 on the tbr! 10mo
LiteraryinLititz I mentioned this to someone else, but I think The Perfect Nanny is completely missable. Just one opinion, but I wasn‘t impressed by it at all. So maybe start with the others? 10mo
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QueenKayeNandi
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I always enjoy David Blight lectures, his interviews and teachings. Currently digging into this 888-page masterpiece.....

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TheBookStacker
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Nonfiction Winter reads. These will take me awhile to get through they are total doorstoppers! Perfect for curling up with as the days get shorter!

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ChrisE
Pickpick

I got my copy via Netgalley. This massive bio of Douglass is a must read.