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Twelve Years a Slave [Kindle Edition]

Solomon Northup
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,376 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $3.93
Kindle Price: $0.99
You Save: $2.94 (75%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

#1 Bestseller

Now a major motion picture directed by Steve McQueen and starring Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Paul Giamatti

12 Years a Slave is a riveting true account of a free man captured and sold into slavery in the pre–Civil War South. Solomon Northup’s narrative explores one of the darkest times in American history and captures in vivid detail the unimaginable realities of slavery.

In 1841, the educated musician Solomon Northup, a free man living in New York who is cruelly deceived by the promise of a job in Washington, is drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. Once Solomon arrives in New Orleans, he is given a slave name and soon realizes that any mention of his rights as a free man is sure to bring cruel punishment or death. Denied his freedom and ripped away from his family, he spends twelve emotionally and physically gruelling years on a Louisiana cotton plantation enduring the hardships and brutalities of life as a slave. When Solomon eventually finds a sympathizing friend, a daring rescue is attempted that could either end in Solomon’s death or restore his freedom and reunite him with his family.

When Solomon Northup published this harrowing account of slavery in 1853, it immediately stirred up controversy in the national debate over slavery, helping to sway public opinion in favour of abolition. His book 12 Years a Slave remains one of the most insightful, detailed, and eloquent depictions of slavery in America. It demonstrates the extraordinary resilience of one man’s spirit in the face of extreme suffering and his incredible will to survive.



Editorial Reviews

Review

<DIV>"A moving, vital testament." - --Saturday Review</div>

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 899 KB
  • Print Length: 154 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1494297396
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial Classics (October 22, 2013)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FDS85EM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,657 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
235 of 243 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Shall Set You Free of Lies October 17, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Growing up in the North,I had always found it hard to imagine that slavery not only existed in this country,but flourished.Through the years,I have read many an autobiography or history book concerning slavery and thought I knew it all. And yet I was blind.
Until I read Solomon Northrup's "12 Years a Slave." Where has this book been? It is a masterpiece of history,of one man,one free man's life. A true picture of 'The Old South'.
Mr. Northrup was a free black man with a beautiful wife and two daughters living in Saratoga,NY. He was lured from his home by slave traders who specialized in the awful practice of kidnapping free black citizens and selling them into slavery. Torn from his home and family,Mr.Northrup endured the worst that can happen to a human being,and still live.
And yet,he remained fair and honest,never stooping to the level some of his white masters did.
I am not going to rewrite the book in this review because I recommend reading it for yourself. Slavery was and is a vile institution.
Solomon Northrup is my new inspiration.
This book will shock you. But you will be the better for having read it.
My highest of fives.
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169 of 175 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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.

The free versions on other sites I found were pretty poorly formatted, so spending a dollar for a polished version on Amazon is worthwhile, but this one is not the best of them. Granted, the book is formatted adequately, and any typographical errors in this version seem to be simple reproductions of the original.

However, the supporting material is a letdown. I read the version that includes the introduction by novelist Dolen Perkins-Valdez. That introduction is borderline insulting, as it makes only a weak attempt to separate accounts with fictional elements like Roots from an authentic account like this one. Worse still, Perkins-Valdez can't resist indulging in repeatedly referencing her own recently released slave novel, even going so far as to quote herself. There are almost no historical elements to this version beyond the main book -- no mention of Northup after the book, no mention of he writer who helped him pen the book, nothing. There is more information on the writer of the introduction than there is the author.
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135 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome indeed, Please Read This Book! July 3, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read this entire book in one day. I could not put it down. I came across it while trying to learn more about my town. I was in awe after realizing that all this occured some 15 miles from where I now live. I believe this book would make an excellent movie. The way this free black man was taken and sold into salvery is so sad and if I had not been looking into old new paper articles around the area I would have not believed this story. SO many people want to forget about the history of black people but they shouldn't. I don't think anyone can walk away after reading this book and not feel some sort of compassion for the all the souls lost to slavery.
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130 of 144 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, terrible edition. November 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book that is, unfortunately, terribly edited. I refer exclusively to the Kindle edition. It is replete with typos and missing words that frequently interrupt comprehension and that testify to an overall sloppiness that is difficult to excuse. If I had to guess, this was mechanically transformed from a paper to a kindle edition, with little or no human oversight. This lack of oversight shows on almost a page by page basis - and speaks extremely poorly of the overall quality. This is a real shame, because the book itself is indispensable reading for anyone who wants to *begin* to confront the trauma of slavery - a trauma that continues to inflect American and global affairs to this day.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Northup's book is GREAT; but this is a shoddy edition December 3, 2013
By JC 519
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book itself is great -- absolutely wonderful. But I see that all sorts of folks have rushed it into print in the last month or two, to cash in on the film (which is also great) - This edition is quite cheap and shabby; it doesn't even include page numbers. I'd recommend one of the other editions (although some of them are probably also shabby... but at least look for one from a reputable publisher. And really: the book itself should be considered a classic. It's beautifully written, and powerful in its descriptions and insights.
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67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A painful, enraging read in American and Louisiana history September 18, 2001
By Haiyu
Format:Paperback
This is the story of Solomon Northup, in his own words, a citizen of New York kidnapped in 1841 and taken to Louisiana as a slave, where he was found twelve years later on a cotton plantation near the Red River. It is a story that will break your heart as Solomon was torn away from his family for over a decade. According to a quote from 1853, when Solomon first published his memoirs, "Think of it: For thirty years a man, with all a man's hopes, fears and aspirations--with a wife and children to call him by the endearing names of husband and father--with a home, humble it may be, but still a home...then for twelve years a thing, a chattel personal, classed with mules and horses. ...Oh! it is horrible. It chills the blood to think that such are." And indeed, this story will both chill--and boil--your blood.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful book
So glad I read this book- recommend this to anyone interested in reading about that sad time in our country's history when slavery was allowed
Published 10 minutes ago by M. Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars This book, in its relatively few pages, completely ...
This book, in its relatively few pages, completely informed me as to what slavery was in the US. Turns out that I didn't learn anything about slavery really in school. Read more
Published 23 hours ago by KirkyChaznelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent read!!
Published 2 days ago by Donna M. Johnston
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent e-book.
Published 3 days ago by Willie M. McLeod
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Got what was expected
Published 3 days ago by RICHARD H SCIBEK
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fascinating
For evil to flourish in the world,people of good character must stand by and watch it happen. Slavery was,such an evil. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Connie Mistler Davidson
4.0 out of 5 stars An Eloquent Record of a Shameful Injustice
For all he had to bear one would not blame the narrator of this book if he were bitter or vengeful. However he relates his experience with an admirable patience and dignity. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Sophfronia Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Highly recommend this book.
Published 4 days ago by Karen Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
wonderful true story.
Published 4 days ago by Petenick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Much better than the movie.
Published 6 days ago by Sandra L. Maurer
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