"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.
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