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Uncle Tom's Cabin (Oxford World's Classics) Hardcover – September 5, 2002


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Hardcover, September 5, 2002
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics (Book 23)
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 150th anniversary edition (September 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195158164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195158168
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (839 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,207,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Shortly after its publication and within Stowe's lifetime, it transcended the category of literature to become that rarest of products: a cultural artifact; a Rosetta stone for black images in American fiction, theater, and film--not so much a novel, one might say, as an experience inseparable from the events that precipitated the Civil War. ('So this,' Abraham Lincoln said, famously, when he met Stowe, 'is the little lady who wrote the book that made this great war.') It has been the Urtext or common coin for discussions about slavery for a century and a half, one woman's very influential interpretation of the Peculiar Institution--an interpretation that we may love or hate, admire or despise, defend or reject, in whole or in part. It is nonetheless a story that so permeates white popular and literary culture, and sits so high astride nineteenth-century American fiction, that it simply can never be ignored." --from the Introduction by Charles Johnson


From the Publisher

Library of Liberal Arts title. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Tied stories of characters together very well.
Gffjck
It is a masterful story of the ills of slavery, even showing the issues of "good" slave owners.
Joy Pierce
Overall, the book was well written and the introduction omitted need for further research.
Brittney Compton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

291 of 306 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Uncle Tom's cabin is frequently criticized by people who have never read the work, myself included. I decided I finally needed to read it and judge it for myself. And I have to say, that for all its shortcomings (and it does have them), it is really a remarkable book. The standout characteristics of this book are the narrative drive (it's a very exciting, hard to put down book), the vivid characters (I don't know what other reviewers were reading, but I found the characters extremely vivid and mostly believable - exceptions to follow), the sprawling cast, the several completely different worlds that were masterfully portrayed, and the strong female characters in the book. The portrayal of slavery and its effects on families and on individuals is gut-wrenching - when Uncle Tom has to leave his family, and when Eliza may lose little Harry, one feels utterly desolate.
As for flaws, yes, Mrs. Stowe does sermonize a fair bit, and her sentences and pronouncements can be smug. Yes, if you're not a Christian, you may find all her Christian references a bit much. (But the majority of her readers claimed to be Christian, and it was her appeal to the spirit of Christ that was her most powerful tug at the emotions of her readers). Yes, she still had some stereotypical views of African-Americans (frankly, I think most people have stereotypical views of races other than their own, they just don't state them as clearly today). But in her time, she went far beyond the efforts of most of her contemporaries to both see and portray her African-American brothers and sisters are equal to her. The best way she did this was in her multi-dimensional portrayal of her Negro characters -- they are, in fact, more believable and more diverse than her white characters.
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248 of 265 people found the following review helpful By CCC on November 11, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Since this was a free Kindle download, I was prompted to finally read this classic book. It is much better than I expected it would be! Easy to read, well-written, and eye-opening. I noticed another reviewer said the download version was hard to read, but I did not find that to be a problem at all. One nice thing about the Kindle is the ability to download so many classics for free. I doubt I would go to the library and check out Uncle Tom's Cabin, but I would and did read it as a free Kindle download. I am glad that I did!
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144 of 153 people found the following review helpful By "catoblepas" on July 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I too was surprised by "Uncle Tom's Cabin." I'd expected a poorly written melodrama with (at best) a tepid commitment to abolition and a strong undercurrent of racism. I was wrong. As a novel, I consider it to be better than many of its rough contemporaries (including "A Tale of Two Cities," "Vanity Fair," and "Sartor Resartus"). As an attack on slavery, it is uncompromising, well informed, logically sophisticated, and morally unassailable. It's also exciting, educational, and often funny.
The book has flaws, of course. The quality of the writing is variable, as it is in the works of many greater talents than Stowe. Herman Melville is one of my favorite writers, but I'd be hard-pressed to defend some of his sentences--or even some of his books--on purely literary grounds! There are indeed sentimental passages in "UTC." So what? There are plenty in Hawthorne, Dickens, Ruskin, and the Brontes, too...and lord knows our age has its own garish pieties. There are also a couple (only a couple!) of unfortunate remarks on the "childlike" character of slaves, but nothing so offensive as to render suspect Stowe's passionate belief that blacks are equal to whites in the eyes of God and must not be enslaved. (She also says that differences between blacks and whites do not result from a difference in innate ability, and argues that a white person raised to be a slave would show all the characteristics of one). By contrast, Plato wrote reams in defense of slavery and racialism, and yet people who point this out are considered spoilsports, if not philistines.
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111 of 122 people found the following review helpful By S. Marston on September 27, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
(This is a review of the print edition, not the e-book version. I cannot comment on the electronic formatting of this edition.)

A few coworkers and I started an informal book discussion group, where we'd read a couple chapters then meet over breakfast or lunch to discuss. None of us had ever been in a discussion group before. We had a quite diverse set of viewpoints and backgrounds among us, and were looking for something that would be enjoyable to read, but also provide material for discussion and debate.

After a lot of searching and voting, we settled on Uncle Tom's Cabin as our first book. It ended up filling the bill perfectly.

Knowing that it's taught in many schools, I expected a heavy literary "masterpiece" full of symbolism and arcane references. Instead I found it to be a fast-moving, easy to read page turner, and almost all of us in the club tended to read far ahead of the "assignments" for our meetings because we couldn't put it down. Yet it also prompted some great discussion about morality, social and personal responsibility, identity, religion, etc. Mrs. Stowe does not simply convey that "slavery is bad." She explores the ways in which all Americans were complicit in the institution by "turning the other cheek;" by claiming not to approve yet investing financially in companies that relied on slavery for profit; simply by not speaking out against it or supporting those who did. Again, great topics for group discussion.

As a group we've read a half dozen other books since Uncle Tom's Cabin, but none have provided the same combination of simple enjoyment and fodder for good discussion.
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