THERE WAS ONCE A SLAVE: Heroic Story of Frederick Douglass by Shirley Graham
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THERE WAS ONCE A SLAVE: Heroic Story of Frederick Douglass

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is one of the most dramatic and romantic stories of America's history, the story of a Negro slave who became one of the spearheads of emancipation, one of the vital forces of his time -- a time when no Negro on the American continent had dared be what he made himself, a forthright spokesman for his people in bondage. The story of his early years, trained as a personal servant, shunted into the fields because his smatterings of learning frightened his master -- his apprenticeship on another plantation, his exile to a brutal white man who ""broke"" the spirit of recalcitrant slaves, his successive attempts and final success in achieving the freedom -- it reads like a novel, and an absorbing one. Douglass became the friend of great men,- Garrison and John Brown, Ingersoll and Sumner, Abraham Lincoln; and in Europe, Daniel O'Connell in Ireland, England's John Bright, Cobden, Peel, --all who had the zeal of freedom's cause at heart. He preached that cause to listeners in all ranks in Europe- he won a unique place for himself in New England, in New York state, everywhere he could go. He spoke out against the Missouri Compromise, the Dred Scott decision, and- on the other side, he differed openly with John Brown's determination to oppose force to the federal government. Douglass was a force to reckon with wherever he backed a cause- he was one of the earliest advocates of woman's suffrage. His personal story runs like a thread throughout the story of his battle for the right, and in these pages he comes to life as a human being.... As winner of the $6500 Messner award for the best book combating intolerance, this book will get special attention in the press and good backing in promotion and advertising. Perhaps intolerance is best met by knowledge, and this book throws light on a dark page of history -- and as a novel, has the vitality of Irving Stone's biographical novels.... Selection of the Book Find Club.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1947
Publisher: Messner