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12 Years a Slave Paperback – February 21, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Graymalkin Media (February 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1631680021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1631680021
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (656 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A moving, vital testament." --Saturday Review

About the Author

Solomon Northup (1808 - c. 1864-1875) was an African American carpenter who was born free in Minerva, Essex County, New York, but was bound into slavery later in life for a period of twelve years. He regained his freedom in January 1853.

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Customer Reviews

An amazing, beautifully written story.
Pat K.
Additional detailed information, including footnotes maps, photos, and web links greatly enhanced my understanding of the facts.
CatWoman
Amazing to read the story of Solomon Northup's time in slavery.
odaymom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

153 of 155 people found the following review helpful By J. Johnston on October 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you were, like me, looking to read Twelve Years a Slave and were looking through the various Kindle versions of the book, stop right here -- you've found the version you want. For just a dollar the Eakin "enhanced version" is absolutely loaded with historical features, annotations, and pictures that add tremendous depth and context to an amazing story, and is easily the best version on Amazon.

The Northup book itself is, of course, marvelous. As slave stories go, this one is, in my view, without peer. Northup's s captivating tale -- which has gained attention because of the movie that shares the book's title -- is told in exacting detail with an easy prose. He sets the stage masterfully, describing people and places before proceeding into the narrative. Unlike works of fiction, this book is so compelling because, by all accounts, it is true. There is no polemical axe to grind, as with Uncle Tom (a novel at one point wryly referenced by Northup). Here you see both the brutality of slavery and the moments of kindness by slaves and even some slave owners. Solomon tells the story with clarity and intelligence.

Because Twelve Years a Slave is in the public domain, I initially searched for free copies elsewhere. Unfortunately, the free versions I found on other sites were pretty badly formatted, so spending a dollar for a polished version on Amazon proved worthwhile. That said, while most of the Amazon versions are while noticeably cleaner than the free site versions, nearly all of the Amazon entries are barebones versions with no extra material, and most of their introductions, such as they are, are done by novelists or movie producers. That's fine, but at the end of the day they're not historians.

Sue Eakin is.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By W. L. Offutt on September 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Complaint about this review is noted: Don't read this if you don't want to know the plot before reading the book or seeing the movie. Some people think I told you too much in this review. Bill

As for the original book itself, it is fascinating. It is an easy read that has a "hook" in every chapter.
The "what happened after" is equally interesting and gives a more objective view of the man and his times. When I finished the well written book I took a tour of all the many detailed footnotes. What a collection of information! There is a whole history of lots of topics that are an education unto themselves in footnotes containing primary source material I would not find anywhere else! If there was an index to footnotes I would read them by topic.
These detailed footnotes might be published as daily readings in a desk calendar to cover them and do them justice.
I think this book holds the possibility of helping people like myself who have lived in white northern America to be both educated and sensitized to reactions of the black community to things we do not "get" because we have no shared experiences with those who have face discrimination in ways we have never experienced and therefore do not understand. The "What Happened After" section tells us that the kidnappers where found, arrested, charged and after extended delays in the court system were never sentenced for the cruel injustice of kidnapping a freeman. This tells me a good deal about things I was not much aware of from the point of view of Solomon Northup and those who have suffered similar injustices through a court system not up to doing justice as common sense would judge it should be done. It is the story after the story that was most helpful to me in framing what the issue are in my time and place. But I would need "the story" first to get the emotion and feeling that vividly communicated the events of injustice given in the well written narrative.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jill on September 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I love the fact that Dr. Eakin was a socially conscious lady ahead of her time. She did some courageous things in the Deep South based on a video of her on the website of the book, which is noted in the Kindle sample pages. In fact, she was a planter's daughter who rediscovered the book as a 12-year old, who lived in the area where Solomon Northup was held in bondage, and became a civil rights leader and writer-historian-professor and Hall of Fame journalist. The background story on her discovery of the narrative is on the site and could be a movie in itself. She spent a lifetime authenticating and writing about this story. The audiobook with Lou Gossett is very personal and moving... on Audible. I believe he had an Emmy for "Roots" and picked up an Oscar along the way; plus, he has a non-profit organization that promotes racial tolerance -- perfect casting. The publisher placed Gossett's audio clips of scenes on their website and they are engrossing. They have really maxed out the value you receive in this edition.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By thewanderingjew on January 31, 2014
Format: Audio CD
This is the harrowing account of a free black man who was kidnapped. His free papers were stolen, he was viciously beaten into submission and then transported to plantations in the south as a slave. His whereabouts were unknown to any and all who could free him. The idea that any man, of any color, or any background, could be captured and penned, treated like no more than a brute animal, should have been, then and surely now, nothing short of anathema to any breathing human being. Ignorance could not be a legitimate excuse, anymore than it could have been during the Holocaust. Myself, I am at a loss to understand why an economy driven by slaves would be exalted, why greed would be elevated to heights higher than human dignity.
Man’s inhumanity to man, man’s ability to turn a blind eye to human suffering for monetary gain, will render the reader speechless and horrified. As a Jew whose history is steeped in slavery, I felt personally affected by his plight and angered to the point of distraction, because there is absolutely nothing anyone can do today to reverse the effects of the terrible injustice imposed upon people, simply because of their color. They were kept illiterate, forbidden to improve their station in life, beaten violently for the slightest infractions, by people who would not have wanted such a life for themselves or anyone they associated with, and yet, they turned a blind eye to accumulate the all-mighty dollar. Those who hated, taught their offspring to hate. Those who hated, hired overseers who hated. Those who hated often got away unscathed. Justice was usually not served for the black man.
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