Twelve Years a Slave (Barnes & Noble Signature Editions)

Twelve Years a Slave (Barnes & Noble Signature Editions)

4.2 362
by Solomon Northup
     
 

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“In a stunning reversal of stereotype, he is often a man among beasts.”

—Eric Ashley Hairston, from the Introduction

Twelve Years a Slave, a chronicle of the amazing ordeal of Solomon Northup, a free African American kidnapped in the North and impressed into slavery in Louisiana, is one of the most compelling and detailed slave narratives

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Overview

“In a stunning reversal of stereotype, he is often a man among beasts.”

—Eric Ashley Hairston, from the Introduction

Twelve Years a Slave, a chronicle of the amazing ordeal of Solomon Northup, a free African American kidnapped in the North and impressed into slavery in Louisiana, is one of the most compelling and detailed slave narratives in existence. “There must have been some misapprehension—some unfortunate mistake,” writes Northup. “It could not be that a free citizen of New York, who had wronged no man, nor violated any law, should be dealt with thus inhumanly.”

As an educated man, torn from freedom and plunged into slavery, he brings into exact clarity the life and labor of slaves in the antebellum American South, the complex economic choices and ironic moral concessions of slaveholding, and the calamitous effect of slavery on the foundations of civilization. Throughout his horrific imprisonment, Solomon Northup resists the urge to laud himself as an exemplary character or focus solely on his own experience, giving contemporary readers a remarkable and complex account of the lives of the slave community as a whole.

A bestseller when it was first published, Twelve Years a Slave remains today a stunning American odyssey.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
Solomon Northup was born a free man in New York in 1808. In 1841 he was tricked, captured, and sold into slavery in Washington, D.C. Originally published in 1854, his account of 12 years spent as a slave on a series of Southern plantations became one of the most famous of the antebellum slave narratives. Republished in 1970 with an introduction by Philip Foner, the book has again been "replicated" by Dover with all the original documentation and illustrations. Northup's story was taken down by David Wilson in the year following his rescue from a Louisiana plantation. Since Northup was a literate Northerner and understood the values of freedom, his testimony was highly prized by Abolitionists. Not only did his book sell 25,000 copies in the year it was published, it was used to support Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, since it gave a description of plantation life very much like one that Stowe had described. Twelve Years a Slave is highly readable and well paced. It provides a firsthand account of slave auctions, good masters, bad masters, slave beatings, escape attempts, black community life within the plantation system and the legal system that permitted Northup's eventual rescue. Highly recommended. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1970, Dover, 336p, illus, 22cm, 99-089488, $8.95. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Patricia A. Moore; Academic Resource Ctr., Emmanuel College, Boston, MA (retired), March 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 2)
Booknews
Born a free man in New York in 1808, Solomon Northrup was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841. He spent the next 12 years as a slave on a Louisiana cotton plantation. After regaining his freedom in 1853, he published this gripping autobiographical account of his captivity. As an educated man, he was able to present a detailed and accurate picture of slave life and plantation society, from simultaneous outsider and insider perspectives. This is an unabridged Dover republication of the work first reprinted by Dover Publications, New York, in 1970. The original edition was published by Derby and Miller, Auburn, New York, 1853. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"A moving, vital testament." —-Saturday Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781435152182
Publisher:
Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
10/15/2013
Series:
Barnes & Noble Signature Editions
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
35,146
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“For sheer drama, few accounts of slavery match Solomon Northup’s tale of abduction from freedom and forcible enslavement.” —Ira Berlin, from the Introduction

“A moving, vital testament to one of slavery’s ‘many thousands gone’ who retained his humanity in the bowels of degradation. It is also a chilling insight into the ‘peculiar institution.’” Saturday Review

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