Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man

(Cato Institute, 2018)

Book Forum
February 8, 2018
4:00PM to 5:30PM EST
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute
Featuring the author Timothy Sandefur, Vice President for Litigation and Duncan Chair in Constitutional Government, Goldwater Institute; with comments by Juan Williams, Political Analyst and Host, Fox News; and Jonathan Blanks, Research Associate, Cato Institute; moderated by Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Cato Institute.

Born into slavery in 1818, Frederick Douglass rose to become one of the nation’s foremost intellectuals—a statesman, author, lecturer, and scholar who helped lead the fight against slavery and racial oppression. But unlike some other prominent abolitionists, Douglass embraced the U.S. Constitution, insisting that it was essentially an anti-slavery document and that its guarantees for individual rights belonged to all Americans, of all races. Further, in his most popular lecture, “Self-Made Men,” Douglass spoke of people who rise through their own efforts and devotion rather than through circumstances of privilege. As the nation pauses to remember him on his bicentennial, Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man takes a fresh look at his remarkable life and ideas and the enduring principles of equality and liberty. Weaving together history, politics, and philosophy, this new biography illuminates Douglass’s immense scholarship with his personal experiences. Please join us as we discuss how Douglass’s legacy continues to inspire today.