Frederick Douglass

For the Great Family of Man

Frederick Douglass

For Ages: 12 - 99
  • 2
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.
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416967521 | 
  • October 2007 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
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About the Author

Peter Burchard

Peter Burchard is the author of twenty-four books -- both fiction and nonfiction -- for young readers and adults. The last of these was a short biography of black teacher, essayist, and diarist Charlotte Forten. 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 have been listed by the American Library Association as Notable Books. The New York Times has praised him highly, saying that "he uses historical fact with skill" and describing him as having "a splendid facility for characterization." He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

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