Magazine November 12, 2018, Issue

A Radical for Individualism

Frederick Douglass, c. 1879 (National Archives/via Wikimedia)
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, by David W. Blight (Simon & Schuster, 912 pp., $37.50)

Frederick Douglass has been poorly served by biographers. That’s partly because he was his own biographer and did such a good job of it. His three autobiographical works are classics, so eloquent and thorough that it’s hard for a biographer to find new things to say. Certainly none has surpassed Benjamin Quarles’s Frederick Douglass (1948), even though subsequent scholarship, particularly Dickson Preston’s Young Frederick Douglass (1980) and Leigh Fought’s Women in the World of Frederick Douglass (2017), have given us fascinating new information about certain aspects of his life.

But accounts of the Sage of Anacostia have otherwise proven relatively

To Read the Full Story
Timothy Sandefur is the Goldwater Institute’s vice president for litigation. He authored a friend-of-the-court brief in Brackeen v. Bernhardt.

In This Issue



Education Section

Books, Arts & Manners


Music Too

Robert Dean Lurie reviews Anything for a Hit: An A&R Woman’s Story of Surviving the Music Industry, by Dorothy Carvello.




“I try to learn the prose of life, but my slavish reproduction of its speech is wooden…”


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