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Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1852



–› Excerpt

refered to by:
The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck

War and Peace
Leo N. Tolstoy

Beloved
Toni Morrison

Max Havelaar or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company
Multatuli


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This is one of those books that everybody has heard about but few people these days have actually read. It deserves to be read - not simply because it is the basis for symbols so deeply ingrained in American culture that we no longer realize their source, nor because it is one of the bestselling books of all time. This is a book that changed history. Harriet Beecher Stowe was appalled by slavery, and she took one of the few options open to nineteenth century women who wanted to affect public opinion: she wrote a novel, a huge, enthralling narrative that claimed the heart, soul, and politics of pre-Civil War Americans. It is unabashed propaganda and overtly moralistic, an attempt to make whites - North and South - see slaves as mothers, fathers, and people with (Christian) souls. In a time when women might see the majority of their children die, Harriet Beecher Stowe portrays beautiful Eliza fleeing slavery to protect her son. In a time when many whites claimed slavery had 'good effects' on blacks, Uncle Tom's Cabin paints pictures of three plantations, each worse than the other, where even the best plantation leaves a slave at the mercy of fate or debt. By twentieth-century standards, her propaganda verges on melodrama, and it is clear that even while arguing for the abolition of slavery she did not rise above her own racism. Yet her questions remain penetrating even today: 'Is man ever a creature to be trusted with wholly irresponsible power?'

- Erica Bauermeister, 500 Great Books by Women

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BOOKS BY HARRIET BEECHER STOWE:

Uncle Tom's Cabin
1852
–› Excerpt

This novel has earned the title of not only bestseller, but also the first protest novel to have a direct impact on political events. The story follows the life and vissitudes of Uncle Tom, a noble negro, and portrays the humanity of an enslaved black people and the moral evil of their enslavement.
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