Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Explain why this book would cause such a strong reaction in both the North and South. Why was it seen as divisive? Why would Northerners care about what Frederick had to say? Why would Southerners see it as propaganda designed to dishonor them?

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Douglass' friends in the North encouraged him to write his story, as a tool which supported the abolition movement and exposed the horrors of slavery. In the South, many people were angered, some claimed the work was incendiary and existed to incite a slave rebellion. The cause was divisive in every way, remember, the two factions.... those who supported and benefited from slavery, and those who wished to end it embarked on the Civil War.