Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (version 2)

Read by Jesse Zuba

(4.8 stars; 101 reviews)

Published in 1845, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself was written in response to critics who questioned the authenticity of the experiences Douglass drew on as a prominent abolitionist speaker. Douglass begins by describing his earliest memories, including his “entrance to the hell of slavery” through the “blood-stained gate” of his Aunt Hester’s brutal beating, and goes on to tell of his painstaking acquisition of literacy, climactic fistfight with Edward Covey, imprisonment in the wake of a thwarted escape attempt, and flight north, first to New York, where he marries Anna Murray, and ultimately to New Bedford, Massachusetts. A runaway bestseller that sold thousands of copies in just its first few months in print, Douglass’s autobiography is a classic fugitive slave narrative that paved the way for his dramatic career as an enormously influential advocate for civil rights. Summary by Jesse Zuba (4 hr 3 min)


Preface 20:35 Read by Jesse Zuba
Letter from Wendell Phillips, Esq. 6:58 Read by Jesse Zuba
Chapter I 11:56 Read by Jesse Zuba
Chapter II 12:41 Read by Jesse Zuba
Chapter III 9:05 Read by Jesse Zuba
Chapter IV 9:51 Read by Jesse Zuba
Chapter V 9:51 Read by Jesse Zuba
Chapter VI 7:48 Read by Jesse Zuba
Chapter VII 13:43 Read by Jesse Zuba
Chapter VIII 11:20 Read by Jesse Zuba
Chapter IX 12:27 Read by Jesse Zuba
Chapter X: Part I 34:10 Read by Jesse Zuba
Chapter X: Part II 39:39 Read by Jesse Zuba
Chapter XI 30:17 Read by Jesse Zuba
Appendix 13:15 Read by Jesse Zuba


Absolutely perfect reading.

(5 stars)

The book itself is incredibly powerful but I to say that the narration was the best I've heard yet on Libravox. Highly recommend.

Great reading of a great book

(5 stars)

This is a very well written book that really opened my eyes to this period of American history. This is not only a successful autobiography, but a literary piece describing the whole mindset and experiences of slaves and masters in that period. It is amazing that a man who had to teach himself to read and write because of the prejudices against him was able to write a book as amazing as this. The narrator does an excellent job portraying the gravity of the situations Douglas and the other slaves find themselves in. At first it seems like the narrator’s voice will make the story boring and hard to follow, but instead it makes you really think about the conditions described and sympathize with the oppressed.

Invaluable Book

(5 stars)

The importance of this book can not be overstated. I am so thankful Douglass took the risk to gain his freedom and was able to tell about his life as a slave. The poem at the end will stick with me, as will Jesse Zuba’s dispassionate reading, which gave a haunting quality to the words describing terrible suffering.

(5 stars)

A++ and the same goes for Mr. Zuba. Frederick Douglas’s narrative captures what happens to even good people who toil under irresponsible unbridled power, for some it’s slow for others it’s immediate but the brutal beasts within us will awaken. This should be required reading for all American school children. Especially now where history is being distorted.

POWERFUL! everyone should read this!

(5 stars)

I can’t believe this was never required reading for me in school! What a powerful, emotional, moving, beautifully written, honest narrative. Jesse Alba’s solemn voice makes it even more poignant. Definitely worth a listen!

(5 stars)

A powerful testimony! Very well read. Only issue is that Ch 4&5 did not download, so had to use another reader for those. However this reader was so good that I returned to him ASAP.

(5 stars)

There are some books you read, and you wished everyone would read it. This is one of those books. The sober reading fit the mood.

(5 stars)

Jesse Zuba PLEASE make more recordings. You are such an amazing narrator for Douglass. It’s perfect. Can’t believe it was free.