A new assortment of the seminal writings and speeches of a legendary author, orator, and civil rights leader
This compact volume offers a full course on the superb, diverse profession of Frederick Douglass, letting us hear over again a necessary old figure whose guiding voice is needed now as urgently as ever. Edited by renowned scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Pulitzer Prize–nominated historian John Stauffer, The Portable Frederick Douglass includes the full range of Douglass’s works: the finished Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, as well as extracts from My Bondage and My Freedom and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass; The Heroic Slave, one of the first works of African American fiction; the stunning speeches that launched his political profession and that constitute the finest oratory of the Civil War era; and his journalism, which ranges from cultural and political critique (including his early aid for women’s equality) to law, history, philosophy, literature, art, and international affairs, including a never-before-published essay on Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture.
The Portable Frederick Douglass is the latest addition in a series of African American classics curated by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. First published in 2008, the series reflects a range of great works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by African and African American authors brought and annotated by best scholars and acclaimed writers in new or updated editions for Penguin Classics. In his series essay, “What Is an African American Basic?” Gates provides a broader view of the canon of classics of African American literature accessible from Penguin Classics and past. Gates writes, “These texts reveal the human normal through the African American certain: all true artwork, all classics do this; this is what ‘art’ is, a revelation of that which makes each of us sublimely human, rendered in the minute details of the actions and thoughts and feelings of a compelling character embedded in a time and area.”
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the best publisher of basic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a world bookshelf of the finest works all through history and throughout genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts improved by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.