Frederick Douglass was born a slave and lived to become a best-selling author and a leading figure of the abolitionist movement. A powerful orator and writer, Douglass provided a unique voice advocating human rights and freedom across the nineteenth century, and remains an important figure in the fight against racial injustice. This Companion, designed for students of American history and literature, includes essays from prominent scholars working in a range of disciplines. Key topics in Douglass studies - his abolitionist work, oratory, and autobiographical writings – are covered in depth, and new perspectives on religion, jurisprudence, the Civil War, romanticism, sentimentality, the Black press, and transatlanticism are offered. Accessible in style, and representing new approaches in literary and African-American studies, this book is both a lucid introduction and a contribution to existing scholarship.
Introduction Maurice S. Lee; 1. Douglass's self-making and the culture of abolitionism John Stauffer; 2. Identity in the autobiographies Robert S. Levine; 3. Douglass as orator and editor Sarah Meer; 4. Crisis and faith in Douglass's work John Ernest; 5. Violence, manhood, and war in Douglass Maurice O. Wallace; 6. Human law and higher law Gregg Crane; 7. Sentimental Douglass Arthur Riss; 8. Douglass among the Romantics Bill E. Lawson; 9. Douglass's Black Atlantic: Britain, Europe, Egypt Paul Giles; 10. Douglass's Black Atlantic: the Caribbean Ifeoma C. K. Nwankwo; 11. Douglass, ideological slavery, and postbellum racial politics Gene Andrew Jarrett; 12. Born in slavery: echoes and legacies Valerie Smith; Guide to further reading; Index.
"All in all, this Cambridge Companion is a very recommendable book. Lucidly addressing many of the most important aspects of Federick Douglass's life and writings, these informed and for the most part also informing essays present a wide array of topics and approached, showing that and how Douglass played-and still plays- a crucial part in the fight against racism and injustice." --American Studies, A Quarterly