Cover image for Frederick Douglass : a critical reader
Frederick Douglass : a critical reader
Lawson, Bill E., 1947-
Publication Information:
Malden, Mass. : Blackwell Publishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiv, 408 pages ; 23 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library E449.D75 F738 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In this powerful volume, 15 leading American philosophers examine and critically reassess Douglass's significance for contemporary social and political thought.

Philosophically, Douglass's work sought to establish better ways of thinking, especially in the light of his convictions about our humanity and democratic legitimacy - convictions that were culturally and historically shaped by his experience of, and struggle against, the institution of American slavery.

Contributors include Bernard R. Boxill, Angela Y. Davis, Lewis R. Gordon, Leonard Harris, Tommy L. Lott, Howard McGary, and John P. Pittman.

Author Notes

Bill E. Lawson is Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University. His area of research is African-American Social and Political Philosophy and the theory of social contract. He has published numerous articles as well as two books, The Underclass Question , an anthology of writings by African-American philosophers on the issue of the "urban underclass", and Between Slavery and Freedom (with Howard McGary), an examination of ethical issues in the American slavery experience.

Frank M. Kirkland is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College and at the Graduate Centre, both of the City University of New York. He has published a variety of scholarly articles on Kant, Hegel, and Husserl, as well as on the urban underclass and the relation of modernity to African American life. He has also edited a collection of essays entitled Phenomenology, East and West. He is currently completing a scholarly monograph, Hegel and Husserl: Idealist Meditations.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Part I Racial Assimilation And Emigration
1 Douglass against the EmigrationistsBernard R. Boxill
2 Douglass on Racial Assimilation and Racial InstitutionsHoward McGary
3 Douglass's AssimilationismJohn P. Pittman
Part II Natural Law And American's Founding Documents
4 Natural Law in the Constitutional Thought of Frederick DouglassDavid E. Schrader
5 Whose Fourth of July? Frederick Douglass and 'Original Intent'Charles W. Mills
Part III Enlightenment And Enslavement
6 The Claims of Frederick Douglass Philosophically ConsideredRoderick M. Stewart
7 The Grammar of Civilization: Douglass and Crummell on Doing Things with WordsStephen L. Thompson
Part IV Moral Suasion And Rebellion
8 Douglass as an ExistentialistLewis R. Gordon
9 Honor of Insurrection or A short Story about why John Brown (with David Walker's Spirit) was Right and Frederick Douglass (with Benjamin Banneker's Spirit) was WrongLeonard Harris
10 Enslavement, Moral Suasion, and Struggles for Recognition: Frederick Douglass's Answer to the question - 'What is Enlightenment?'Frank M. Kirkland
Part V Incarcerating And Lynching Black Bodies
11 Douglass on the Myth of the Black RapistTommy L. Lott
12 From the Prison of Slavery to the Slavery of Prisons: Frederick Douglass and the Convict Release SystemAngela Y. Davis
Part VI Douglass (1818-95): One Hundred Years Later
13 Frederick Douglass and Racial Progress: Does Race Matter at the Bottom of the Well?Bill E. Lawson
Selected Bibliography

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