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on 6 May 2017
I bought it very cheaply as it was needed for daughter's history lesson as they are studying the American Civil War.
This book explains the atrocities of slavery and how slaves were treated during the 19th century.
Would highly recommend reading this book as it is really good.
Also, the quality of the book was very good and it came in a very good condition.
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on 14 May 2017
Every person whether black, white or a mixture to whatever degree, should read this book. If they did, many of the atrocities we witness in today's society, would end. The story is thought-provoking and extremely profound. It makes you want to be a better person.
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on 27 April 2017
Fantastic book. Easy to read. Very important and free.
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on 26 April 2017
Very good reading, exactly as expecting.
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on 20 May 2017
classic book will last forever
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on 10 March 2016
Sent as gift
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on 29 June 2009
Uncle Tom's Cabin: categorised first as anti-slavery propaganda, then (bizarrely) as a children's book, everyone has heard of it, few bother to read it, which is a pity. Harriet Beecher Stowe was a highly intelligent writer who had learned well from her master Dickens. The best passages of her book are well up to his standard of dry, understated polemic. Some of her characterization, like the dissection of St Clare's disastrous marriage, or Cousin Ophelia in her Puritan New England background, is as brilliant and individual as anything in the nineteenth-century novel. Her evangelicalism strikes us as mushy-gushy now, but underlying it is a moral toughness that has not been given sufficient credit. Like a marksman shooting down one target after another, she dispassionately showed all the many ways in which slavery inevitably corrupted both slaves and their owners. Humane owners could not escape responsibility:

`Well,' said the other, `there are also many considerate and humane men among planters.'
`Granted,' said the young man; `but, in my opinion, it is you considerate, humane men that are responsible for all the brutality and outrage wrought by these wretches; because, if it were not for your sanction and influence, the whole system could not keep foothold for an hour. If there were no planters except such as that one,' said he, pointing with his finger to Legree, who stood with his back to them, `the whole thing would go down like a millstone. It is your respectability and humanity that licenses and protects his brutality.'


She was pretty bold, especially as an unmarried woman writer, in her exposure of sexual exploitation, at a time when George Eliot could cause shock simply by hinting at a character having an illegitimate child (of course this was America, not England). Her depiction of Simon Legree's plantation was astonishingly unsparing. This is in essence a concentration-camp novel, showing that twentieth-century labour camps and Gulags were part of a time-(dis)honoured tradition. The near-impossibility of resisting such dehumanisation throws into sharp relief the heroism of the few that did - and do.

I would not agree that Uncle Tom himself is an unbelievable plaster saint, nor yet the example of servility and acquiescence that later caricatures might lead you to believe. Notice that when Tom gets word that he is to be sold and declines to take the chance to run away, his decision is not because of any misplaced deference towards his owners but for the benefit of his fellow slaves: he realises that unless he is sold to pay off his master's debts they all may have to be sold. If you can bear with Miss Beecher-Stowe's religious effusions, Tom's moral arc is an entirely believable one. In his apparently hopeless position as Legree's slave, he (if not the author) gets beyond the evangelical morality of divine reward and punishment to the existential realisation that one has to choose good ... just because evil is worse. `If I get to be as hard-hearted as that ar Sambo ... it won't make much odds to me how I come so: it's the bein' so - that ar's what I'm a-dreadin'. I find that quite moving.

Of course the author spoils things rather with her poor plotting. When Cassie hatches an escape plan, it goes against the most elementary rules of clandestine association that she should unnecessarily let Tom know the details, just so that he can be a hero and refuse to tell Legree. The resolution of the whole story contains a few coincidences too many. And some of the folksy scenes are undeniably dull. Still, you will not be wasting your time if you read this book. It is a real novel, not just a historical document.
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on 2 January 2011
I had read this years ago as a teenager and remembered enjoying it. Seeing it available on Kindle for free I thought it time to read it again and am very glad I did. Very clearly written as anti slavery propoganda during the mid 19th century, at the time before the American Civil War when slavery was allowed in southern American states but not in the North, it movingly follows the lives of several slaves and their owners, refuting the arguments of the pro slavery lobby at the time that slaves could be more comfortable and secure with a paternal owner than braving the labour market on their own. The book explores in heart breaking detail the devastating possible effects of the death or ruin of a slave owner which could force the sale by auction of his property, including his slaves. This often lead to permanent separation of families. The book is often very sentimental but is also very charmingly written with gentle humour and some very moving chapters.
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on 19 June 2011
I was hooked within a couple of pages, though I found the colloquial language difficult as it disrupts the flow. The characters were all stereotypes of the era nevertheless they were well drawn and consistent. Whilst I think religion has done a lot of harm in the world, I like they way the author constructed the arguement against slavery from a Christian perspective. I can also see how the promise of eternal life in paradise helped the slaves survive their abhorrent situation.
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on 17 September 2009
My husband bought this from Amazon earlier this year. He was gripped by it and recommended I read it after him.

I'm glad I did as it is one of the best books I've read in years. Like much of the best American literature there's an epic sense of scale - Scores of wonderfully rounded characters set in well described locations across a varied landscape. The storylines are wonderfully written and you'll find it difficult not to think about the book's themes when you have to put it down.

Although there are some god-fearing parts in the middle, these aren't too intrusive and merely add flavour to the period in which it was written. It should be noted that not all of the 'good' characters are christian.

Although the book is far from a one-sided rant against slavery (some of the most likeable characters are slave owners) it's easy to see how it was credited with starting the civil war. Anger wasn't an emotion I'd expected from this book, but I felt it in spades.
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