- Series: Dover Thrift Editions
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications; 1 edition (August 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0486440281
- ISBN-13: 978-0486440286
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,720 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Uncle Tom's Cabin (Dover Thrift Editions) 1st Edition
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"Uncle Tom's Cabin is the most powerful and enduring work of art ever written about American slavery."
—Alfred Kazin --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Publisher
Uncle Tom, Topsy, Sambo, Simon Legree, little Eva: their names are American bywords, and all of them are characters in Harriet Beecher Stowe's remarkable novel of the pre-Civil War South. Uncle Tom's Cabin was revolutionary in 1852 for its passionate indictment of slavery and for its presentation of Tom, "a man of humanity," as the first black hero in American fiction. Labeled racist and condescending by some contemporary critics, it remains a shocking, controversial, and powerful work -- exposing the attitudes of white nineteenth-century society toward "the peculiar institution" and documenting, in heartrending detail, the tragic breakup of black Kentucky families "sold down the river." An immediate international sensation, Uncle Tom's Cabin sold 300,000 copies in the first year, was translated into thirty-seven languages, and has never gone out of print: its political impact was immense, its emotional influence immeasurable. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
Although the author's religious beliefs are entrenched in the story and indeed, become an overwhelming factor towards the end of the book, those same Christian tenets are nonetheless shown to be a source of supreme comfort to the protagonist who undergoes all manner of hardship and disappointment.
No doubt this story was, in part, responsible for the eventual abolition of slavery and again retold in the tumultuous years prior to the dismantling of legal segregation. May it stand as a reminder that subjugation has no place in a civilized world.
Lest We Forget!
Since "Uncle Tom" today refers to a subservient, obsequious person with no courage to stand up to evil, I was surprised to read about the character of Uncle Tom. He was no weak-willed, servile person, but a devout Christian who lived the way he understood the Bible said. He didn't rebel against his earthly masters because he believed in turning the other cheek, as Jesus preached and practiced. However, when ordered to whip another slave, Uncle Tom sacrificed his own life by refusing to carry out the evil order. He would not take part in violence against another person even though his refusal lead to violence against him. Uncle Tom is an example of how Christians should live and die. I would consider the highest of honors if I were called an Uncle Tom!
The other thing that really struck me about the book was how people who considered themselves good Christians owned slaves and/or approved of slavery. They felt that if they treated their slaves well, they were doing their Christian duty. They didn't see that the enslaved people were created by God in His image, just as they were, that the slaves deserved to live their lives in freedom, just as the slave owners did. From today's perspective, it's easy to see how evil slavery was and how much those Christians who participated in it were violating God's will.
As a society, we pride ourselves on being so much better than the generations before us that perpetuated such an evil institution as slavery. Yet today, we have a class of human beings who are, like slaves, considered less than human; a class of human beings who have no right to freedom, indeed no right to life.
Those who are denied the right to life are the unborn, the most innocent and most vulnerable of God's people. A mother can murder her baby legally, just as the slave owner could murder his slave legally.
Ending slavery meant that thousands of uneducated men and women with no experience at making the simplest of decisions were suddenly responsible for themselves and their families. The whole structure of society had to change, and that process has taken more than a century.
Ending abortion is much simpler. Pregnant women simply carry their babies to term rather than discard them like garbage. The mother may find that a temporary hardship, but killing the baby results in permanent death. If the mother is not able or willing to raise the child, the baby can be adopted by a loving family. Because of the huge number of abortions each year, it will probably take time to have enough adoptive parents for all the new babies. However, today many families are unable to adopt a baby as they would love to do because there simply aren't enough babies. Finding loving homes for babies will be much easier than changing the whole structure of society after the elimination of slavery.
I can see why Uncle Tom's Cabin awoke the conscience of the country regarding slavery. Thanks be to God for the advocacy of abolitionists who believed that every human being is made in the image of God and deserves life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I'm praying that the advocacy of Christians who believe in the sanctity of all human life will bring about an end to abortion.
That there is value in every life, that hope and faith (either or both) will pull you through almost any tragedy or any horrific situation that cold heartless and thoughtless humans can throw at a person.
It is most incredible to me that at the time of publishing, even the church was confident in stating that slavery was not so bad, that there were "good masters" and that incidents of cruelty and harm were rare. But they were blind and false in their conclusions. There may have been some kind masters but as was shown many times in the story, the slave's life with them was tenuous at best. A kind master's death or debt would invariably mean every possession would be sold. And each of his slaves were as much a chattel as his furniture. It is difficult to assimilate that attitude now. Families were routinely ripped apart, babies and children taken from mothers, husbands or wives taken and sold separately and told they should just forget their spouse and marry another. Horribly violent beatings and living conditions bad enough to demoralize anyone and destroy any hope of kindness or relief.
Only a few people stood out as having any kindness and love or actively did and said things that would improve the lives of the slaves.
The characters depicted, were drawn from true life and experiences of the author and those known to her. The most incredible incidences of the tale are also depicitons of true events and all this makes Uncle Tom's Cabin a story that is worth anyone's time.
Even without those elements of truth, the story rolls along with colourful descriptions of both character and place so as to bring the whole tale to life in a most realistic way.
I am so glad that I read this book. Harriet Beacher Stowe is an amazing storyteller and a powerful teacher for what is right, just and good.