Penn State

Eva Tettenborn - associate professor of English, Penn State Worthington Scranton

Book Title: Frederick Douglass : selected speeches and writings

Author: Douglass, Frederick (edited by Philip S. Foner)

Book Description:

As a teacher of American literature, American studies, and rhetoric and composition, I greatly admire Frederick Douglass’s writings and speeches. His works continue to influence in profound ways American culture in general and contemporary African American literature—my field of research—in particular. Douglass’s writings addressed the fundamental economic, political, social, and ethical problems of his time, recognizing the connections between various forms of systematic political disenfranchisement, including those identified by abolitionists and women’s rights advocates. A fierce defender of human rights and the individual’s dignity, Douglass relied on his impeccable logic and uncompromising integrity to produce a powerful political rhetoric that rejected effectively any system that did not guarantee full legal equality and citizenship rights for all Americans. Douglass’s works show us the power of the written and spoken word that emerges when the unrelenting desire for justice harnesses the power of rhetorical craft.


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