Booker T. Washington published this, his second, autobiography in 1901 at age 45. It is a fascinating account of his childhood slavery, emancipation, education, and rise to prominence as a college educator and highly acclaimed African American leader. This is one book I had a hard time putting down. It reveals a man deeply committed to helping African Americans in post-Reconstruction America earn respect based on their skillful work and valuable contributions to society. A quote from the book seems to summarize Washington's personal philosophy: "I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." He believed that striving for excellence and working cooperatively with all people, regardless of ethnicity or station, was the key to the black man winning his rightful place in the world. It is recommended reading for those wishing to broaden their understanding of and appreciation for African American history, post-Civil War race relations, or the history of higher education in America. The Penguin Classics edition has an index, endnotes (18 in all), and an interesting introduction by historian and Washington biographer Louis R. Harlan.
About This Item
|Number of Pages|
Booker T Washington
Up from Slavery
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.50 Inches
Customer reviews & ratings
Booker T. Washington p...
Not so much an autobio...
Not so much an autobiography as it is a personal journal of his life work as founder and Principal of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. His struggle to find funding in the early days is fascinating reading, especially when it begins to develop into a secondary career as a much-sought-after international public speaker. It is only a lack of detail re. his personal life aside from vocation that keeps me from rating this work five stars.
Very interesting and w...
Very interesting and well-written. Booker T. Washington quickly became one of my favorite historical figures as I read this autobiography, and he certainly has my respect. I would've liked to meet him. But this book has made me curious about several things, rather than informing me about them. It seems that Mr. Washington had three wives -- but he never really says much about what happened to any of them. He seems to talk a lot about lots of things, and yet, I don't feel quite as if I know much about him. I guess I'll have to do some more research.
As a historical docume...
As a historical document, this is an impressive achievement with Washington's regular integration of statistics, news reviews, and speeches, along with his multiple brushes with historical figures such as U.S. Presidents. At the same time, whether a reader is familiar with the questions of the book's history or not, his voice doesn't come across as all-together candid. It feels formed, tailored to the subject and intent instead of the truth. I can't say that I blame the author considering his need to raise funds for projects at Tuskegee, but at the same time, it takes a great deal out of the pleasure I normally find in reading an autobiography. The language is undoubtedly graceful and telling of interesting subjects, but some of the flavor and anecdote I'd normally expect of autobiography just wasn't there. I recommend the autobiography to anyone interested in the raising of institutions, Tuskegee or others, or those interested in Washington himself, but I wouldn't recommend this probably to someone who is just generally an avid reader of autobiography. In the end, I just wanted more--more honesty, more fault, more specifics. It felt as if this was, simply, too perfectly formed and executed toward Washington's purpose of the time, so dating the text on some level.
Incredibly inspiring. ...
Incredibly inspiring. I'm so glad that I was able to read this! I probably wouldn't have bothered to pick it up, if it wasn't for my college level American History class. It's a shame this isn't mandatory reading!
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