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Uncle Tom's Cabin (1964)

by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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16,788190305 (3.78)505
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

The novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe, focuses on a slave named Uncle Tom to weave a portrayal of the cruelty of slavery, finding redemption in the idea that Christian love can conquer something so destructive.
It turned out to be the bestselling novel of the nineteenth century, helping to further the abolitionist cause after publication in 1852. At the start of the American Civil War Abraham Lincoln met Stowe and is said to have declared "So this is the little lady who made this big war." The novel had a major effect on people's attitudes towards slavery at the time.

.… (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. 00
    Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (Julie_in_the_Library)
  3. 12
    The Clansman 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 505 mentions

English (170)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (2)  German (2)  Slovak (1)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (187)
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
Historically relevant with flawed, religiously-biased writing. ( )
  nlgeorge | Jan 20, 2024 |
Incredibly well written. A must read. ( )
  ibkennedy | Oct 30, 2023 |
I was very impressed by this book, both by the story itself and its abolitionist pleas. I read this book as an adjunct to [[Ibram X. Kendi]]'s book [Stamped from the Beginning]. I feel this book is probably most effective as a read for someone who, like myself, is trying to understand the issue of slavery better rather than as an assigned read for an English literature class. I found it interesting to finally "meet" Uncle Tom and Simon Legree in this book because I'd heard their names all of my life, but I had no idea who they were or what they did.

I thought this book gave a pretty clear picture of how slaves were treated diffently depending on their owners, but it painted the life of slaves, at least at the beginning of this book, a bit rosier than it probably was. The dreadful and distressing practice of tearing apart black families by selling each member to different white owners located at great distances from each other was highlighted in this story.

The only issue I had a problem with with was its overly heavyhandedness on Christian theology. I know this was a big issue for blacks as they were trying to educate themselves, but I couldn't buy into the preachiness of the author's theology. I also found one reference to Jews very offensive in this book. Nevertheless, I am glad I put the effort into reading this classic story, and I hope the author's persuasiveness helped guide former slave-owners into rethinking their positions about slavery. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Oct 9, 2023 |
A classic first published in 1852 - This book has been on my bucket list for years now. Finally...check! My copy: UNCLE TOM’S CABIN: LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY (possibly 1884-1885 edition), by Harriet Beecher Stowe. This is a little book, no more than 4” wide by 7” long, with very tiny print. I found it on eBay, purchased from stampinsisters for $10.00. It is badly worn and missing the copyright page. On the inside cover page is written:
“6th Prize Jr. 3rd Class, Fred Cummings, U.S.S.
No. 10th 16. S.N. & D. [signed] E. Garrett, Teacher,
Dec. 1885”.
I would gladly mail this copy to any known family members of this Fred Cummings.

According to the author, Harriet Beecher Stowe, this story is based on a collection of true life stories turned into a novel that were either witnessed by the author, herself, or told to her by others who either went through similar experiences when enslaved or told by someone who had knowledge of certain events and relayed it to the author.

I rated this book 4 stars out of 5, just above an average read, for these reasons: 1) The author constantly jumped from you reading a good story, to her interrupting with analogies and explanations and sermons. I found that strange and a bit annoying. 2) I found that she was very pretentious in her writing of those analogies, explanations and sermons…meaning, she tried too hard to write so uppity, that at times, I couldn’t understand what the heck she was writing. 3) Some parts of the slave dialog were hard to get through. Thankfully, they weren’t very long conversations.

That being said, this story did draw me into the characters and their emotional trauma experienced by being enslaved. She really did capture the essence of slavery, of a human race that owned absolutely nothing and experienced complete helplessness over every little aspect of their lives. Even if the slave had a good life, it could turn on a dime when the plantation owner had to pay in on a debt or upon a sudden death. They would then find themselves back on the auction block and praying and begging not to be separated from their children, or to be sold to a good master and not be sent down the river to the cotton plantations, which had the worst reputation for having brutal owners. The author touched on many things emotionally that I never have, and never would have, even thought about before on my own.

She portrayed different personalities handling brutal plantation owners in different ways. On the one hand, there was Uncle Tom, who was an upmost Christian and never wavered or compromised his belief in praying for and showing love and compassion even through his turmoil. He took a beating because he refused to beat another slave. Then, there was Sam Harris, who escaped with his family, and would die and fight before letting them harm his family. They were both right! In the end, Uncle Tom's cabin was symbolic for the love and compassion he spread among his people and among everyone else he encountered, whether a Christian or not. God used him to bring others to the Lord.

We learned a lot about slavery when I was in high school back in the 1980’s, but we never really touched on the “emotional” aspect of it, and I wish we had. ( )
  MissysBookshelf | Aug 27, 2023 |
The benefits of Christianity, as described here, are so bountiful that one wonders how slavery dared to exist in its presence. The story is so replete with Jesus figures that the author has to juggle them carefully to avoid a scene where they must all sacrifice themselves en masse. The author is to be commended for restricting her anti-semitism to only a single line. ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
The novel's impact was global… Among those who hailed it as a masterpiece were Ivan Turgenev, Victor Hugo, Leo Tolstoy and George Eliot

added by vibesandall | editGUARDIAN, GARY YOUNGE
Its power is that it never makes light of slavery and its attendant vast misery

added by vibesandall | editNEW YORKER, JOHN UPDIKE
added by vibesandall | editECONOMIST
A century and a half since its publication, Uncle Tom's Cabin retains a fascination for Americans… it stoked a furious hostility among many Americans to the continuation of slavery in their own Southern states

added by vibesandall | editDAILY TELEGRAPH
Uncle Tom's Cabin is the most powerful and enduring work of art ever written about American slavery.
added by vibesandall | editAlfred Kazin

» Add other authors (146 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stowe, Harriet Beecherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cattaneo, PieroIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Claybaugh, AmandaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Covarrubias, MiguelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Curtis, Christopher PaulForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Douglas, AnnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giusti, GeorgeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herzfelde, WielandAfterwordsecondary 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
Nye, Russel B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelc, AntoninIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riel, Ton vanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
SaniIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stern, Philip Van DorenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stern, Philip Van DorenEditorsecondary 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.
"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!"
My master! and who made him my master? That's what I think of—what right has he to me? I'm a man as much as he is. I know more about business than he does; I am a better manager than he is; I can read better than he can; I can write a better hand,—and I've learned it all myself, and no thanks to him,—I've learned it in spite of him; and now, what right has he to make a dray-horse of me?
The mousing man, who bore the name of Marks, instantly stopped his sipping, and, poking his head forward, looked shrewdly on the new acquaintance, as a cat sometimes looks at a moving dry leaf, or some other possible object of pursuit.
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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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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

The novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe, focuses on a slave named Uncle Tom to weave a portrayal of the cruelty of slavery, finding redemption in the idea that Christian love can conquer something so destructive.
It turned out to be the bestselling novel of the nineteenth century, helping to further the abolitionist cause after publication in 1852. At the start of the American Civil War Abraham Lincoln met Stowe and is said to have declared "So this is the little lady who made this big war." The novel had a major effect on people's attitudes towards slavery at the time.


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