When first met Frederick Douglass is revering William Lloyd Garrison on the eve of his own maiden speech--yet the specific differences that caused their later rupture are never made clear: on the one hand this does not develop Douglass from within, on the other it is less than astute history. To say that ""the abolitionist movement was but one wave of the mighty tide of belief in human liberty and the unique importance of each human soul which had spread to America and Europe in the early 1800's""--and to say only that before plunging into abolitionist meetings--is to pontiffcate at the expense of precision, even of accuracy (i.e. the American roots of the movement), certainly of the unknowing reader. Douglass is observed correctly enough, and he is praised, but he does not so much attain heroic stature as have it bestowed upon him. In this the present book suffers especially in comparison with Shirley Graham's stirring Once There Was A Slave, which has more suppositional conversation, perhaps, but also more authentic utterances; it also develops Douglass' youth, friendships, encounters and efforts more fully. Relatively compressed as this is, it might have served as a substitute but it is little more than a walking, talking itinerary.