Frederick Douglass (1818-95) was the son of an African-American woman and a white slaveholder. 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 became secretary of the Santo Domingo Commission, Recorder of Deeds in the District of Columbia, and United States Minister to Haiti.
From the back cover: Born into a life of bondage, Frederick Douglass secretly taught himself to read and write. It was a crime punishable by death, but it resulted in one of the most eloquent indictments of slavery ever recorded. His gripping narrative takes us into the fields, cabins, and manors of pre-Civil War plantations in the South and reveals the daily terrors he suffered as a slave. Written more than a century and a half ago by an African-American who went on to become a famous orator, U.S. minister to Haiti, and leader of his people, this timeless classic still speaks directly to our age. It is a record of savagery and inhumanity that goes far to explain why America still suffers from the great injustices of the past.
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