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Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New York, Kidnapped In Washington City in 1841 and Rescued in 1853, From a Cotton Plantation Near the Red River in Louisiana. Kindle Edition
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|Kindle Edition, 12 Sep 2013||
Top Customer Reviews
12 years a slave is spellbinding. I had already read "Uncle Tom's Cabin" years ago, and I don't know why "12 Years" has never received more acclaim. It is at least as good as Uncle Tom, and has the added advantages of being a first hand account by someone to whom these experiences really happened. I read it in two days, and am now reading another of the books that came with it in the download, "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl", another autobiographical account, and also gripping. Everyone with an interest in the subject should read these.
Solomon is captured and enslaved against his will, removed from his wife and two children and transported by sea to begin his new life as the chattel of another man. What he witnesses in his 12 years of enslavement is harrowing, to say the least. This is a land where Mothers are forcibly removed from their children, brutal whippings occur with frightening frequency, near starvation and being worked literally to death were common occurrences. Slaves were not even given the most basic privileges of a knife and fork or plate upon which to eat. Imagine a life where you cannot travel, marry or even post a letter without your owner's permission!
Thankfully, Solomon eventually finds a way out of his predicament, but it was a risk that might have caused his own death had it backfired on him.
Conclusion: A 5 star read. Once I picked it up, I simply could not put it down. Let's just hope that the world continues to endeavor to allow every man the right to his freedom.
I've put off reading this for several months, knowing the content from the Oscar-winning film. Actually, it wasn't as hard to read as I'd feared, but scenes will linger for me.
I've read The Long Song, Chains, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Beloved. Solomon made it more real for me, the husband and father doing what he can to get home.
His writing style is very much of the period, which I don't have issues with, though some descriptions of farming procedures held little interest in the context of the book for me.
Some of the more shocking scenes were actually those in which slaves are 'granted' three days holiday for Christmas, treated to sumptuous meals and dances by their usually whip-wielding 'masters'. The enjoyment and laughter resulting had me in floods of angry tears.
Solomon wisely state facts and leaves opinion to us his readers. The actions of the participants speak for themselves. Bass I would want awarding medals. To stand out against public opinion and speak as he did - commendable.
It's a book that by rights should be reqiired reading by every secondary school student in the UK and USA. More than textbooks, films, question sheets, students will be forcsped to think about what nations did in their past, what happens when greed trumps humanity.
Not a book you will enjoy but one you won't regret letting into your conscience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is such a sad read. Unfortunately very few got to return to their families. But the human spirit is remarkable. Read morePublished 17 days ago by shock
Interesting subject matter about the way that man treats fellow man but be aware that the book was written in the 19th century and the grammar is of its time. Read morePublished 17 days ago by TP
Enjoyed this but it was strangely impersonal, with little insight into Solomon himself. We learnt what happened to him but not what was going through his mind. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Gill
Highly recommended - watched the film but I'm so glad I got to read the autobiography. The film, as so often is the case, used artistic license and missed some important points to... Read morePublished 25 days ago by gk011009