Frederick Douglass by Peter Burchard
For the Great Family of Man

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Here in a swift and compelling narrative, Peter Burchard tells the story of the greatest black American of the nineteenth century, a pioneer who laid down a firm foundation for all men and women who came after him.

As a child and as a youth, Frederick Douglass was a slave, but his intelligence, his resilient character, and his innate charm, together with a measure of good fortune, made it possible for him to rise above a state of servitude. He became a forceful speaker and persuasive writer and conducted a campaign to abolish slavery and secure civil rights for his people and for all Americans. He saw himself as a soldier in a battle for the dignity of the "great family of man."

This new biography presents Douglass as he lived through the misery, tragedy, and heartbreak of his early years, as he escaped from slavery only to endure anxiety and outrage in the free states of the North. He eventually made his way to Great Britain, where he lectured forcefully against slavery.

In the United States, as the Civil War began, Douglass recruited young black men to fight and die for their freedom and the freedom of their brothers held in bondage in the South. He became a friend and counselor to presidents, senators, and governors.

Here is a full-length portrait of this strong and passionate American.


About Peter Burchard

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Peter Burchard is the author of more than twenty-five books -- both fiction and nonfiction -- for young readers and adults. The last of these is Lincoln and Slavery, published in 1999. He is the author of One Gallant Rush: Robert Gould Shaw and His Brave Black Regiment, a major historical source for the motion picture Glory, which won three Academy Awards. Two of his books were ALA Notable Books and the New York Times has praised him highly, saying that "he uses historical fact with skill" and has "a splendid facility for characterization." He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Published January 1, 2003 by Atheneum. 240 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Young Adult, Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books. Non-fiction

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The author himself notes this in one of the chapter notes, going on to state, however, that “Douglass did not exaggerate agonies of the kind endured by many slaves throughout the South.” Despite this qualification, in the body of the text Douglass’s memoirs are summarized without comment, allowin...

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Publishers Weekly

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Burchard's (One Gallant Rush; Lincoln and Slavery) biography begins with a momentous event in Douglass's life—hi

Jan 13 2003 | Read Full Review of Frederick Douglass: For the G...

Publishers Weekly

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Burchard lays bare the complexities of the times, exposing the blemishes of the antislavery leaders, some of whom used Douglass to further their own prominence, plus Douglass's personal struggles, such as his increasingly loveless marriage.

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