When Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in 1852, it became an international blockbuster, selling more than 300,000 copies in the United States alone in its first year. Progressive for her time, Harriet Beecher Stowe was one of the earliest writers to offer a shockingly realistic depiction of slavery. Her stirring indictment and portrait of human dignity in the most inhumane circumstances enlightened hundreds of thousands by revealing the human costs of slavery, which had until then been cloaked and justified by the racist misperceptions of the time. Langston Hughes called it "a moral battle cry," noting that "the love and warmth and humanity that went into its writing keep it alive a century later," and Tolstoy described it as "flowing from love of God and man."
About the Author
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) published her first book, The Mayflower, in 1843. In 1852 she published her bestselling classic, Uncle Tom s Cabin, the first novel to criticize the institution of slavery. She lectured and wrote for twenty-five years.
Jane Smiley is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres and more than ten other works of fiction, as well as three works of nonfiction, including a critically acclaimed biography of Charles Dickens. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in northern California.
"Uncle Tom's Cabin is the most powerful and enduring work of art ever written about American slavery."