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Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)

by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,909160323 (3.78)468
Uncle Tom, Topsy, Sambo, Simon Legree, little Eva: their names are American bywords, and all of them are characters in Harriet Beecher Stowe's remarkable novel of the pre-Civil War South. Uncle Tom's Cabin was revolutionary in 1852 for its passionate indictment of slavery and for its presentation of Tom, "a man of humanity," as the first black hero in American fiction. Labeled racist and condescending by some contemporary critics, it remains a shocking, controversial, and powerful work -- exposing the attitudes of white nineteenth-century society toward "the peculiar institution" and documenting, in heartrending detail, the tragic breakup of black Kentucky families "sold down the river." An immediate international sensation, Uncle Tom's Cabin sold 300,000 copies in the first year, was translated into thirty-seven languages, and has never gone out of print: its political impact was immense, its emotional influence immeasurable.… (more)
  1. 21
    Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs (LisaMaria_C)
    LisaMaria_C: This is the slave narrative of Harriet Jacobs and shares with Stowe a Christian sensibility and emphasis on how slavery destroys a slaves moral agency.
  2. 01
    The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan by Thomas Dixon (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Dixon himself called The Clansman a sequel to Uncle Tom. In many ways its antithesis. Both controversial. Both worth examining for historical context more so than literary value.
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» See also 468 mentions

English (147)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (3)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (160)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
Harriet Beecher Stowe's book is one that I would classify as important rather than great. It's a powerful condemnation of slavery using the language of Stowe's Christian faith, and her moral outrage at it seeps through nearly every page. This I expected; what I didn't expect was how she developed her characters. While her African American characters are uniformly dignified and good, most of the slaveholders received surprisingly nuanced treatments, with some good (if hypocritical) characters among them and only the infamous Simon Legree really embodying in full the evil and corruption resulting from slavery. Yet for all the positive nature of her depiction of her slave characters Stowe cannot help but reflect the racial attitudes of her time, with descriptions that have not aged well. In this she demonstrates the limits of even antislavery activists in their attitudes towards African Americans, yet this is all of a piece in a work that arguably serves as the most historically significant novel in American history, one that helped galvanize opposition to the institution that was corroding the nation's soul. ( )
  MacDad | Mar 27, 2020 |
Couldn't be bothered.

A noble amateur effort, generally clumsy and all laid on with a trowel. But a pat on the head for all those who finish this noble, important, book. ( )
  GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
Thanks to their owner's improvidence two Kentucky slaves, a man and a boy, are due to be sold. The boy's mother runs away with him while the man accepts his fate. This is what happened to them.

I found the eye-dialect difficult to get used to but overall the book was a powerful piece of pleading even nearly 170 years later. Obviously I was broadly familiar with the story before going in, but something that took me by surprise was the casual acceptance that, however devastating, the death of one's child was so general an experience that the author could use it as a commonality that would arouse sympathies for the slaves amongst her white readers, though I must admit I did roll my eyes a bit at the sentimentality of the portrayal of Eva. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Oct 5, 2019 |
I was shocked when I saw how bravely Tom stood up to his 'master' and refused to obey the order to whip his fellow slave, knowing that the price would inevitably be a painful death. I see that the sacrifice is now-a-days considered to be giving in, but in that context, under those circumstances, his only choices were obey or dis-obey, non-violently or make life even worse for the others and himself. Given those realities, he acted heroically, not as we currently use the phrase 'an Uncle Tom.' ( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
Absolute trite garbage. One of the worst reading experiences I have experienced. This is religious sentimentality in its worst basest most soap-opera form. Pompous and self-aggrandizing. I would NOT recommend it to anyone unless you have to read it for your studies as a mandatory text. ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (152 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harriet Beecher Stoweprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cattaneo, PieroIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Claybaugh, AmandaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Curtis, Christopher PaulForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Douglas, AnnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giusti, GeorgeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holmberg, NilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, EastmanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kazin, AlfredAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larsson, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lynn, Kenneth S.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mackey, William, Jr.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Missaglia, ElisabettaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noto Soeroto, TrisnatiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelc, AntoninIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riel, Ton vanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
SaniIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wayboer, Jos.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining-parlor, in the town of P_______, in Kentucky.
Quotations
"Your heart is better than your head, in this case, John," said the wife, laying her little white hand on his. "Could I ever have loved you, had I not known you better than you know yourself?"
Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright to us dies to us. There is a most busy and important round of eating, drinking, dressing, walking, visiting, buying, selling, talking, reading, and all that makes up what is commonly called living, yet to be gone through; and this yet remained to Augustine.
"Well," said St. Clare, "suppose that something should bring down the price of cotton once and forever, and make the whole slave property a drug in the market, don't you think we should soon have another version of the Scripture doctrine? What a flood of light would pour into the church, all at once, and how immediately it would be discovered that everything in the Bible and reason went the other way!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Young Folks' Edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin has different text and ~92 pages; please do not combine with the main work.
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