BOOK REVIEWS

Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass, a Monumental American Man Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-03-20 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:1419725467
LANGUAGE:English

" Strong 3 1/2. I do love this author, and I definitely learned some things about Douglass. This would pair well with other books on a variety of topics. I just had a problem with some of the word choices. Assuming the errors are corrected in the final. " said.

" Excellent overview of the life Frederick Douglass. " said.

" The pictures aided to the very well-researched telling of such a profound man in our Nation's history. My daughter learned quite a bit (9) as she was able to follow with ease the progress of Mr. Douglass's personal growth and gains against the time-period's hardships and war. Wonderful outline and sidenotes for such a wonderful story of courage! " said.

"When most people think of Frederick Douglass, the first thing that might come to mind is "escaped slave." But Douglass was so much more than that. He become one of the most significant and successful writers, speakers, and change-makers our nation has ever seen. This intimate biography, full of the beautiful and numerous photographs Frederick so enjoyed sitting for, captures a portrait of a complex man not without his faults or setbacks. Yet his commitment to the fight against the "twin-monsters of darkness," slavery and racism, is inspiring and humbling. So many of his words can, unfortunately, apply to today's continuing inequity and racism so rooted in our country's history. A great and important biography for kids, written with great energy and insight." said.

"To clarify, I felt the book was a biography targeted towards (very) young adults, with simple words, large font and colorful pages. Perhaps it is. In ya- fashion, I felt that the author took many liberties in assuming how Douglass *felt* during certain moments or giving reasons to why he acted as he did in certain situations. These assumptions read as just that: assumptions. Individuals were introduced with little background and no chart to keep track of who is who so I found that the names, for me, became jumbled and required rereading. I also take issue with calling Douglass a feminist- within the book he is recorded as dubbing the journey of women's suffrage not as important or critical as that of African Americans. In my mind, attending one conference of female leaders does not a feminist make. The titles given to Douglass, by the author, were rightfully earned at best but grasping for straws at worst- making the read a bit of a jumble on an already great man.

The book was educational and a fast read.

Advice for any edits: Douglass was undeniably a great and revolutionary man, but this seems a poor attempt at deification. I would have loved a list, and descriptions, of the people in Douglass' life to help keep track of names (or faces).
" said.

"Frederick Douglass really was a monumental American man as the title of Bolden’s new biography states. This book due to be released in January, 2018 (I had a galley) for the 200th birthday of the great man has 16 pages of notes, a selected bibliography and a timeline. In the galley there is also space for image credits and an index. The body of research that went into making this book a reality is clear. The fact that is reads like a rags-to-riches story means it will have appeal from middle school through high school. Bolden also does an impressive job of weaving details about photography into the narrative which makes this a book that also explores technology of the time. Facing Frederick calls upon its readers to recognize new documents and scholarship about the once-enslaved abolitionist. It’s also compelling to read Douglass’s words in breakout quotes and captions. “They treat us not as men but as dogs and expect us to run and do their bidding. You degrade us and then ask why we are degraded—you shut our mouths and then ask why we do not speak. You close your colleges and seminaries against us and then ask why we don’t know more.” —Frederick Douglas
This reviewer wonders if any modern leaders are as relentless and tenacious as Douglass. What an excellent biography and one that should be paired with Milton Melter’s Frederick Douglas In His Own Words.
" said.

"Frederick Douglass truly was a monumental man: “reader, teacher, orator, self-emancipator, abolitionist, author, editor, publisher, intellectual, civil rights activist, women’s rights activist, public servant, diplomat, statesman, humanitarian, husband, father, grandfather.” Through meticulous research and a mostly engaging narrative style, Bolden shows readers he was so much more than a self-educated, emancipated slave and abolitionist. He was not perfect, though: he split with his early endorsers when they wanted him to tone down; he was not an astute businessman; his home life was messy; he toyed with leaving the country. Bolden uses copious quotes to give readers a sense of Douglass’ passionate rhetoric, thoughtful arguments, and nuanced positions. He pressured President Lincoln before and during the Civil War and understood the fight for equality had only begun. Douglass worked diligently for the passage of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendment, exhorted Blacks to become educated, and served the government in several capacities before his death in 1895. Chapter headings are quotes from his writings and speeches. Bolden’s writing is detailed and sophisticated; some of the sophistication actually comes from the use of so many quotes. Readers who stick with her will come away with a much better sense of this “lion” of equality. The book is handsomely designed, with cream-colored pages, red borders, and many illustrations. Douglass had a fascination with photography and is said to be the most photographed man of the nineteenth century. Bolden includes not only photos of Douglass, but also of his family and many others with whom he interacted. She provides details about the type of photograph as well as the subject. Back matter is extensive, including a timeline, detailed chapter notes, selected sources, and index and photo credits. Impressive and inspiring, this should be in middle school and high school libraries.
" said.

" Lots of good information about his life and what the country was like both before, during and after the Civil War. Photos were a good addition as was the back matter including a time line. " said.

April 2018 New Book:

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