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Twelve Years a Slave - Enhanced Edition by Dr. Sue Eakin Based on a Lifetime Project. New Info, Images, Maps Paperback – 6 Sep 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Eakin Films & Publishing; Enhanced ed. edition (6 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989794814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989794817
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 418,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

SOLOMON NORTHUP was born in 1808 and lived as a free man in Saratoga Springs, New York, with his wife and three children until his capture and enslavement in 1841. He was one of very few who were able to regain their freedom after being kidnapped and sold into slavery. After he returned to New York, he published his memoir and became an active abolitionist, lecturing throughout the Northeast about his experiences.

Dr. Sue Eakin saw her first copy of Solomon Northup's Twelve Years a Slave: 1841-1853 when she was twelve years old. Years later, as a graduate student at Louisiana State University, she chose the book as the topic for her thesis. A resident of Bunkie, Louisiana, near the plantation where the events in the book take place, Dr. Eakin also is coauthor of Pelican's textbook, Louisiana: The Land and Its People, now in its fifth edition.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The main interest of the book is of course the "autobiographical testimony" it contains. But this particular edition is enriched with notes and various appendices written by the two editors. These notes and appendices create a real perspective providing all available documents or press clippings about most elements the book contains and we cannot be aware of today. The people who are named are then expanded with concrete information and data about who they were and what they did. The events that are mentioned are thoroughly documented from the press of the time and from all available registers and alternative testimonies. The notes and appendices turn the "biographical testimony" into a document that can be considered as mostly truthful beyond the personal vision the author provides us with, for example the fact that he only sees one side of Louisiana as we will mention later, the American takeover and their practice of slavery as chattel exploitation. Solomon Northup could of course not know better and is well forced to ignore the French or Spanish conceptions.

As such this book is a phenomenal tool for people who really want to know what slavery was some 20 to 10 years before the Civil War in the American tradition. It provides us with a detailed description of the treatment, exploitation and management of slaves in the South, even if it only concerns the American side of Louisiana forty years after the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon and France. What's more it provides us with a panorama of what the Northern states and their citizens could know about the practice of this peculiar institution in the Southern States since this book was published in 1853 and was quite successful at the time.
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If you haven't read this, you should. It's as simple as that. A moving first hand testimony of inhumanity. Only 60% of this edition is the original work, the rest is a mix of newspaper and court records with commentary by Dr Eakin which attempts to present an epilogue to the first hand account of Solomon. The emotion is in his harrowing tale of abuse.
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For a book written in the 1850's by a man who did not get the sort of education one does today, this book was an excellent read with a personal insight of a free man kidnapped and sold into slavery. The descriptions of his experiences and of those he lived with for all those years was harrowing and moving.

I understand this book is going to be made into a film. I hope it reflects the hell that human beings sold into slavery experienced and makes people think especially as the spectre of slavery has come to the fore again all over the world.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The rather interesting true life story of Solomon Northup. Raised as a free man in a Northern state a few years before the American Civil War, he had the misfortune to be tricked into bondage and spends twelve years as a slave in the South before regaining his freedom.

Solomon provides us with his perspective and experience of the institution of slavery as well as describing many of the things he saw during his captivity. The editor's extensive background information included in the enhanced edition complements Solomon's narrative nicely.
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Reading this particular edition of the several currently available proved fortuitous, as it contains lots of further information about Solomon Northup's life, before and after his enslavement.

Much of the information contained in the book has also been verified, as far as has been possible, with an intervening gap of around 150 years, and a Civil War.

There are even court transcripts and details of legal action taken against those responsible for Solomon's suffering - information which highlighted the inability of coloured people of that time to get legal justice for such grave crimes against them!

The author, Sue Eakin, has very on obviously devoted a great deal of time and effort to finding further information to add to Solomon Northup's own narrative, as her added information fills close to half the finished book, and is a historians gold mine. There is even a website devoted to the book and its subject matter.

Sue Eakins further research has completely supported Solomon's narrative, whereas, if read alone, could have been considered a work of fiction, similar to Uncle Tom's Cabin, which had acquired greater popularity, both at the time, and since.

If you want to delve deeper into the entire story of Solomon, his experiences, and the entire slavery issue, then this is the version of "Twelve Years a Slave" that you need to read. I can't imagine that anyone else could have done any better or delved deeper than Sue Eakin.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read this book before you watch the movie... Amazingly readable considering it was written so long ago. Left me yet again questioning, how could humans treat other humans in such a deplorable, degrading and sickening way?We should all read this.
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Format: Paperback
Solomon Northup's Twelve Years a Slave is a well-written and a deep and moving story not only of man's depravity in his treatment of others, but also of the inner strength we all have and means we can harness to get out of different predicaments without dehumanizing ourselves in the process. Like the story of Josef in Disciples of Fortune, Solomon Northrup's book gives an amazing of Solomon's trials and tribulations.
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