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Uncle Tom's Cabin


Uncle Tom's Cabin


“Is man ever a creature to be trusted with wholly irresponsible power? And does not the slave system, by denying the slave all legal right of testimony, make every individual owner an irresponsible despot?”

Uncle Tom's Cabin was revolutionary in 1852 for its passionate indictment of slavery and for its presentation of the first black hero in American fiction, Tom, "a man of humanity."

Labeled racist and condescending by some contemporary critics, it remains a shocking, controversial, and commanding work—exposing the attitudes of white nineteenth-century society and documenting in heartrending detail the tragic breakup of black families "sold down the river."

Uncle Tom, Topsy, Sambo, Simon Legree, and little Eva: their names have become American bywords.

An immediate sensation, Uncle Tom's Cabin sold over 300,000 copies the first year, was translated into thirty-seven languages, and has never gone out of print since its initial publication in 1852. Its political impact was immense, its emotional influence immeasurable.

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE (1811-1896) was an American author, influential for both her writings and her stands on social issues of the day. She wrote more than 20 books, including novels; three travel memoirs; and collections of articles and letters.

"Uncle Tom's Cabin is the most powerful and enduring work of art ever written about American slavery."

—Alfred Kazin



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