Public Affairs Luncheon: Writing the Life of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
Where: New York City Bar Association
42 W. 44th St.
212-382-6696 Price: $40
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“Extraordinary…a great American biography” (The New Yorker) 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.
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’s biography tells the fascinating story of Douglass’s two marriages and his complex extended family. 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. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery. Douglass spoke widely, using his own story to condemn slavery. By the Civil War, Douglass had become the most famed and widely travelled orator in the nation. In his unique and eloquent voice, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. After the war 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. Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History; Winner of the Bancroft, Parkman, Los Angeles Times (biography), Lincoln, Plutarch, and Christopher Awards; named one of the Best Books of 2018 by The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Time.
David W. Blight is Sterling Professor of American History at Yale UniversityBuy tickets/get more info now