The Annotated Uncle Tom’s Cabin

By Harriet Beecher Stowe

Added May 6, 2009

Declared worthless and dehumanizing by the novelist and critic James Baldwin in 1955, Uncle Tom's Cabin has lacked literary credibility for over fifty years. In this refutation of Baldwin, co-editors Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Hollis Robbins affirm the literary transcendence of Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 masterpiece. As Gates and Robbins underscore, there has never been a single work of fiction that has had a greater effect on American history than Uncle Tom's Cabin. Along with a variety of historical images and an expanded introductory essay, Gates and Robbins have richly edited the original text with hundreds of annotations which illuminate life in the South during nineteenth-century slavery, the abolitionist movement and the influential role played by devout Christians. They also offer details on the life of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the Underground Railroad, Stowe's literary motives, her writing methods, and the novel's wide-ranging impact on the American public. Book jacket image and book description courtesy W. W. Norton & Co.

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