In debt, Kentucky farmer Arthur Shelby reluctantly decides to trade two of his slaves. The two, middle-aged Uncle Tom and young Harry, are to be sold to Mr. Haley, a detestable slave trader. Eliza, Harry’s mother and Mrs. Shelby’s maid, overhears the details of the arraignment, warns Uncle Tom and flees with Harry to the north. Eliza and Harry barely make it across the Ohio River before slave catchers can catch up with them. On the run, Eliza and her family seek shelter and safety. Meanwhile, Uncle Tom, who refused to run away, is separated from his family and sold down river. As novel progresses, the juxtaposed narratives highlight the harsh reality of slavery.
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Library of Liberal Arts title.From the Inside Flap:
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.
From the Paperback edition.
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