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Uncle Tom's Cabin: Or, Life among the Lowly
     

Uncle Tom's Cabin: Or, Life among the Lowly

3.7 270
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
 

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On June 5, 1851, Uncle Tom's Cabin began as a serial in the abolitionist weekly, The National Era. Uncle Tom's Cabin quickly became the world's second-best seller, outranked only by the Bible. The importance of Harriet Beecher Stowe's monumental work was as evident at the time it was first published as it is today. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln met Harriet

Overview

On June 5, 1851, Uncle Tom's Cabin began as a serial in the abolitionist weekly, The National Era. Uncle Tom's Cabin quickly became the world's second-best seller, outranked only by the Bible. The importance of Harriet Beecher Stowe's monumental work was as evident at the time it was first published as it is today. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe at the White House and referred to her as "the little lady who started this big war." Lincoln knew better than anyone the irony in this. There was nothing diminutive about the issues she brought before the nation's conscience. A story of suffering and compassion, Uncle Tom's Cabin depicts slavery as honestly as it denounces it.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

These two publications demonstrate continuing interest in the life and work of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Harvard University's attractive, sturdy, and reasonably priced paperback of Uncle Tom's Cabin provides a brief introduction by David Bromwich (English, Yale) and a short chronology of Stowe's life. The novel was reprinted in various editions in England in 1852 owing to the lack of international copyright agreements at the time; this version follows the first American edition. Belasco's (English, women's & gender studies, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln) study of Stowe is an interesting mixture of 38 letters, diaries, and other writings regarding impressions and interactions with Stowe by her family members and contemporaries, as well as a few selections by Stowe. Belasco's knowledge comes across through her substantial introduction and thoughtful editing-each entry is prefaced by an informative paragraph that supplies helpful context and gives details on the author's relationship to Stowe. Writings by several notable figures are included, such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Mark Twain. A complex portrait of Stowe, who has been a controversial figure at times, emerges. Belasco's work is recommended for academic and public libraries with American literature collections. Libraries in need of a replacement copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin should consider picking up the new Harvard edition.
—Stacy Russo

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451507143
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
02/01/1966
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

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.
There were no servants present, and the gentlemen, with chairs closely
approaching, seemed to be discussing some subject with great earnestness.

For convenience sake, we have said, hitherto, two gentlemen. One of the parties,
however, when critically examined, did not seem, strictly speaking, to come under
the species. He was a short, thick-set man, with coarse, commonplace features, and
that swaggering air of pretension which marks a low man who is trying to elbow his
way upward in the world. He was much over-dressed, in a gaudy vest of many
colors, a blue neckerchief, bedropped gayly with yellow spots, and arranged with a
flaunting tie, quite in keeping with the general air of the man. His hands, large and
coarse, were plentifully bedecked with rings; and he wore a heavy gold
watch-chain, with a bundle of seals of portentous size, and a great variety of colors,
attached to it,—which, in the ardor of conversation, he was in the habit of
flourishing and jingling with evident satisfaction. His conversation was in free and
easy defiance of Murray's Grammar, and was garnished at convenient intervals with
various profane expressions, which not eventhe desire to be graphic in our account
shall induce us to transcribe.

His companion, Mr. Shelby, had the appearance of a gentleman; and the
arrangements of the house, and the general air of the housekeeping, indicated easy,
and even opulent circumstances. As we before stated, the two were in the midst of
an earnest conversation.

'That is the way I should arrange the matter,' said Mr. Shelby.

'I can't make trade that way—I positively can't, Mr. Shelby,' said the other, holding
up a glass of wine between his eye and the light.

'Why, the fact is, Haley, Tom is an uncommon fellow; he is certainly worth that sum
anywhere—steady, honest, capable, manages my whole farm like a clock.'

'You mean honest, as niggers go,' said Haley, helping himself to a glass of brandy.

'No; I mean, really, Tom is a good, steady, sensible, pious fellow. He got religion at
a camp-meeting, four years ago; and I believe he really did get it. I've trusted him,
since then, with everything I have,—money, house, horses,—and let him come and
go round the country; and I always found him true and square in everything.'

'Some folks don't believe there is pious niggers, Shelby,' said Haley, with a candid
flourish of his hand, 'but I do. I had a fellow, now, in this yer last lot I took to
Orleans—'twas as good as a meetin', now, really, to hear that critter pray; and he was
quite gentle and quiet like. He fetched me a good sum, too, for I bought him cheap
of a man that was 'bliged to sell out; so I realized six hundred on him. Yes, I consider
religion a valeyable thing in a nigger, when it's the genuine article, and no mistake.'

'Well, Tom's got the real article, if ever a fellow had,' rejoined the other. 'Why, last
fall, I let him go to Cincinnati alone, to do business for me, and bring home five
hundred dollars. 'Tom,' says I to him, 'I trust you, because I think you're a
Christian—'I know you wouldn't cheat.' Tom comes back, sure enough; I knew he
would. Some low fellows, they say, said to him—'Tom, why don't you make tracks
for Canada?' 'Ah, master trusted me, and I couldn't'—they told me about it. I am sorry
to part with Tom, I must say. You ought to let him cover the whole balance of the
debt; and you would, Haley, if you had any conscience.'

'Well, I've got just as much conscience as any man in business can afford to
keep,—just a little, you know, to swear by, as 'twere,' said the trader, jocularly; 'and
then, I'm ready to do anything in reason to 'blige friends; but this yer, you see, is a
leetle too hard on a fellow—a leetle too hard.' The trader sighed contemplatively, and

Meet the Author

Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 - July 1, 1896) was an American abolitionist and author. Her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) depicted life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and United Kingdom. It energized anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. She wrote more than 20 books, including novels, three travel memoirs, and collections of articles and letters. She was influential both for her writings and her public stands on social issues of the day.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
June 14, 1811
Date of Death:
July 1, 1896
Place of Birth:
Litchfield, Connecticut
Place of Death:
Hartford, Connecticut
Education:
Homeschooled

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Uncle Tom's Cabin 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 270 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is only the first 4 chapters!!!!!!!! DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book starts at chapter twenty nine. Save time and nook memory. Do not bother with this edition.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a classic. It is a touching story about what slaves went through. It was even good enough to be put in the movie The King and I. That is what first moved me to read this book. Seriously give this book a try. You wont be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After so many years i finally read this classic and i must say its an emotional rollercoaster.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the events described in this book may seem highly unethical, the author had little recourse except to depict them in a straightforward manner. Slavery was not and is not ever a pretty picture. Readers turned off by the content are forced to acknowledge the degrading conditions of the oppressed in the antebellum U. S. South. That Uncle Tom could maintain such a positive sense of self-dignity and deep spirituality through the atrocities visited upon him, represents the indomitable spirit displayed by many African Americans during the era portrayed in this novel.
Kasey Andrews More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for a project in my American literature class last year and I really enjoyed it. Mrs. Stowe did an excellent job with characterization and descriptions. After researching her use of literary techniques, I could really appreciate her style of writing. It was a very well developed story with very interesting characters, all off them had their own story. I love how you could see the author's faith shine through in the book. It really gives you a different perspective on the religion of the day. I recommend this to readers who are up to a challenge as it is a rather hard book to just sit and read.
pcj60 More than 1 year ago
As an african american i think this is a must read. I never knew how compelling this book would be. Even with the errors it was still worthy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This classic is a must read for those who have missed this tale of the pain of human suffering in slavery...a pain that must not be forgotton, ever. I enjoyed this book as a 'reading again' experience, as classics such as this always have new meanings and enlightment with each reading. I highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome! We are studying this in social studies!
ANDILOU More than 1 year ago
Something that everyone should read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Made me think of slavery in a whole new way. Highly recommended reading material.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Empty
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please do not waste your time and energy on this piece of junk. Thank you! - a reader
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Upon reading this work it was easy to see how it came to influence the end of slavery. The call to action for Christians was well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"We don't have to do this right now. If your scared. Just tell me." He said, the britishyness in his voice really showing.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I kinda wanna read it , heard its a good book, but I'm thirteen and have also heard that its really confusing and hard to read. Please reply- should I read it?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant read a thing and there is only ten friggin pages...