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[Review of Frederick Douglass]

The latest volume of the series of tiny "Beacon Biographies" is the life of Frederick Douglass, by Charles W. Chesnutt. Mr. Chesnutt has lately made a name for himself as a writer of short stories, and he is quite as successful in the more serious work of biography. There have been other biographies of Douglass, of which the one written by himself is undoubtedly the most widely known, but this is a brief, concise, comprehensive, and sympathetic work which is well worth the very short time required for its perusal. The author has, while not departing from the natural course of his work, made reflections here and there upon the position of the negro in the country, which add something in the value of the book as a whole. It would hardly be possible to tell the story of the career of this man without adding such expressions of opinion, since his influence was, and still is, one of the factors determining the fate of his people. If there had been no Douglass, the negro of today would hardly have had the chance to be where he is. The American people might not have had faith enough in his ability to give him a chance. But Douglass proved that the ability existed. He was not only a leader; he was an object lesson. (Boston: Small, Maynard & Co. 75 cents.)