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Uncle Tom's Cabin

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  155,524 Ratings  ·  5,694 Reviews
The narrative drive of Stowe's classic novel is often overlooked in the heat of the controversies surrounding its anti-slavery sentiments. In fact, it is a compelling adventure story with richly drawn characters and has earned a place in both literary and American history. Stowe's puritanical religious beliefs show up in the novel's final, overarching theme—the exploration ...more
Paperback, 438 pages
Published August 5th 1999 by Wordsworth Classics (first published March 20th 1852)
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Shelly I 'read' it as an audio book and the narrator did a terrific job with the voices--helped with the dialect that can bog it down in places.
Ashley I read this book in about a week, and I thought it was compelling not just as an education of the slavery era, but because of the characters,…moreI read this book in about a week, and I thought it was compelling not just as an education of the slavery era, but because of the characters, including their motivations and the mental traps that allowed slavery to exist. The character's stories and relationships were also a very good reason to read the book, with each plight saying something about the times and the immorality that existed back then. I don't think it was a racist book at all -- in fact the author was clearly arguing against slavery -- but rather set in a very racist time. But the whole thing is very enlightening and worth the read.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Stephen
ONE READER'S CONFUSION ABOUT WHY "UNCLE TOM" MEANS ANYTHING BUT HERO

3.0 stars. First, I am glad I have finally read this book given its historical significance and the very positive impact that it had on American history. That said, from a literary perspective, I didn't find this book to be particularly well written and am doubtful of whether it would be much remembered or considered a "classic" but for the aforementioned historical significance and the creation of the character of Uncle Tom (mo
...more
Laura
Jan 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I wish this was still required reading in schools. Can you imagine: a book that was credited by President Lincoln with bringing about the Civil War, and is known to have so affected the hearts of readers that it changed their opinions of slavery is hardly read in the country whose face it changed?
Tammy  King Carlton
Aug 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-personal-favs
This book is one of the most moving, provocative pieces of literature I've ever read, and it's the first time that I can recall being moved to tears from a book. As long as I live, I will never be able to remove from my mind the vision of Eliza, panicked and frenzied, in the dead of the night with her baby boy in her arms, leaping across the frozen ice of the Ohio river to escape the trader her baby had been sold to. And if anyone wants to read a profound and well written narrative for the view ...more
J Cravens
Dec 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who cares about social justice or USA history
Shelves: fiction
The main character of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and at least one of the minor characters, are frequently mocked by modern black activists, rappers and comedians. Therefore, when I began reading this novel, originally published in 1852, I was expecting a woefully-outdated story with painful, outrageous stereotypes and archaic language, and had prepared myself for a real struggle to navigate through it in order to see how this book mobilized people in the USA against slavery.

The story, its delivery and i
...more
Brooke
Apr 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
I know, I know, it's a monumental artifact in American history, and the catalyst to the spread of the abolitionist movement to the masses. I totally appreciate the historical and cultural significance of this book. No question.

But seriously, y'all? This book SUCKS as a piece of literature. For real. I just can't get past how bad the writing is--the reason why I'm such a voracious reader is simple: I read books for aesthetic pleasure. That's it. I really don't give a shit about anything beyond en
...more
James
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to Uncle Tom's Cabin, written in 1852 by Harriet Beecher Stowe. For some reason, we didn't read this book in high school; possibly an excerpt or two was thrown in front of us, but I honestly don't really remember reading it until freshman year of college. Prior to reading it, the silly and uneducated man I was thought Ms. Stowe was an African-American telling the story about slavery in America, not all that different from The Underground Railroad stories. Please f
...more
Amira Mahmoud
قراء الروايات دومًا ما يجدون أنفسهم في زاوية يضطرون من خلالها الدفاع دومًا عن تلك الرغبة والعادة في قراءتها والاستمتاع بها، ورغم أن التفضيل الشخصي وضرورة الاختيار بحرية والمتعة التي يحصل عليها الفرد من قراءة الرواية هي جميعها أسباب لا تمنع قراء الكُتب من النظر بازدراء لقراء الروايات (أو حتى من تندمج قراءاتهم بين الروايات والكُتب مثليّ) فإن السبب الرئيسي والأقوى في رأيي هو ما تحدثه الرواية من أثر في نفس القارئ حتى وإن لم تكن رواية جيدة بالإجماع فيكفي أنها أثرت في حياة ووعي قارئ ما وفي نظرته للأشي ...more
Apatt
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
I jist done readin thar book, why, Mas’r, it don’t make no sense to me. Why a man get treated like a dog by another man and the law is all right with that? I knoe it dont mean nuthin now we is all civilased with iPads and lor knows what, but whar was it ever OK?

Slave narratives are morbidly fascinating to me, it amazes me that slavery was ever “a thing” in civilized countries.

Uncle Tom's Cabin tells the story of a faithful, kind and extremely pious “Uncle Tom” and several characters associated
...more
Alex
May 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
It's not really this book's fault that it sucks. Harriet Beecher Stowe's heart was in the right place: she aimed to expose the evils of slavery. Abraham Lincoln is said to have called her the “little woman who wrote the book that made this great war.” That's patronizing and it didn't, but it didn't hurt either.

But it hasn't aged well. According to this book, here's

What Black People Are Like
- "The African, naturally patient, timid and unenterprising"
- "The negro is naturally more impressible to r
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
I decided to pick this 1852 book up because this was said to be the inspiration of our national hero, José Rizal (1861-1896) for writing his masterpiece novel, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) (published in 1887). I thought I would like to compare this with Noli to see how original or unoriginal Rizal was.

My verdict: Noli and Uncle Tom's Cabin are totally different from each other except for one thing and that is the lowly's fight for freedom from slavery. Lowly in Noli are the indios or native Fi
...more
Jessica Reese
Aug 28, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: history classes, Beloved fanatics
Shelves: literature
O.k. so I was supposed to read this in my high school a.p. class. I think my friend and I may even have taken turns reading parts of it, but it never really happened. But, this last semester I actually read it twice, because that's what my Amer. Romanticism professor suggested we do, and, to be honest I was kind of scared of him for a while...

But, here's the deal. It really isn't a great book. It started out as bed time tales for her kids, progressed to installments in a magazine, and then event
...more
Marie
Mar 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Wow. An important book, surely, historically, and I found the forward more interesting than most as it argued about the book's place in American Literature. (Though, sadly, like most academic forwards, rife with spoilers. Lady! I'm reading this for the first time, don't tell me who dies and who gets married and who goes to Africa!)

Stowe's strength is in her more merry passages, particularly when she can put her bible down for five seconds and turn a wry, Twain-like eye on popular culture. Sadly,
...more
Ann Marie
Jul 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Life-changing book. This was a great read-aloud with my kids. We finished it on Easter Sunday - very appropriate.
Arianne Thompson
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
I think the saddest thing about this book is that everybody remembers Uncle Tom, even if only as a particularly ugly byword, but nobody remembers George Harris.

"I am George Harris. A Mr. Harris, of Kentucky, did call me his property. But now I'm a free man, standing on God's free soil; and my wife and my child I claim as mine... You can come up, if you like, but the first one of you that comes within the range of our bullets is a dead man."

He is a hell of a character, and one of the few here th
...more
Amanda
Jun 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: crap
Important? Yes. Good? No.
Lydia Presley
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
There have been so many reviews done about the book it seems a bit ridiculous for me to come so late to the game and offer my own insightful and poignant thoughts (I don't think that much of myself, really!). So instead, I thought I'd write about about my decision to read this book, why it took me so long, and how it affected me personally.

I'd first heard of Uncle Tom's Cabin in college. Being home-schooled in the 80's/early 90's there really wasn't any sort of required reading, and I was consta
...more
mai ahmd
Jan 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: روايات
كتبت الروائية هذه الرواية بعاطفة صادقة وقوية ومؤثرة كونها عاشت أحداثها لذلك كان لها تأثيرا كبيرا على تغيير مسار الحياة في ذلك الزمن ولعل هذا يثبت كم هو تأثير القلم حين يكون بهذا الوعي في زمن ساد به التخلف وعربد فيه الجهل إنني للأتذكر دائما هذه الرواية حين يقولون لماذا تُقرأ الروايات ويسخرون
إتذكر أني قرأت كتاب هو نساء رائدات للكاتبة اللبنانية أميلي نصر الله وقد وضعت هارييت ستو في مصاف هؤلاء النسوة اللاتي خلّد التاريخ أعمالهن ولعل هذه الرواية أكبر ردّ على من يقللون من أهمية الروايات وقراء الروايا
...more
Thomas
This book launched the Civil War, and at what cost? In her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe writes about the plight of enslaved individuals, and she relies on religion to advance her argument that slavery should not exist. The characters often appear as nothing more than archetypes. Stowe's writing comes across as propaganda more times than not. And yet the story of Uncle Tom's Cabin itself possesses an undeniable power, a strength fueled by outright sentimentalism and moralist rhe ...more
RavenclawReadingRoom
Trigger warnings: slavery, racism, violence, suicide, death of a child, beatings/whippings.

3.5 stars.

I.......have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it's basically the first book that actually portrayed enslaved people as, like, PEOPLE and not stereotypes. They're fully fleshed out characters who love and hate and cry and mourn and have dreams for the future and for their families. They want education and to have their own businesses and to see their children grow up free.

HOWEVE
...more
Jason Pettus
Mar 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label

Essay #39: Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), by Harriet Beecher Stowe

The story in a nutshell:
First written serially over the course of 1850 and '51, Harriet Beecher Stowe's
...more
Afrah
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هذه الرواية قدمت نموذج حي لتلك الفئة من البشر في عصر من العصور، قالت الكاتبة أنها لم تؤلف هذا الكتاب وانما دونت فيه قصص حقيقية صاغتها بأسلوبها، والحقيقة أن فكرة كتابة هذه الرواية في ذلك الوقت فكرة جريئة وتحدي واضح لكل القوانين الظالمة واللاإنسانية، ربما استغربت أن تكون رواية هي السبب في التحرير بداية، ولكن الآن لا أستغرب ذلك إذ هي ليست السبب ولكنها الشرارة التي اندلع من بعدها الحريق، ولا أستغرب ما أثارته هذه الرواية من ضجة في أمريكا ذلك الوقت لأن الأمر كان أكثر مما يحتمل، ولأنهم ظلموا واحتملوا م ...more
Karen
Having had an abiding interest in studying the Civil War, I have been surprised at myself that I have not previously read Uncle Tom's Cabin. I have now remedied that failure. I found the book riveting in parts. Harriett Beecher Stowe is a better writer than I expected. Her powerful character development makes the book all the more heartwrenching. I loved Uncle Tom's Christ-like character. I also loved the religious allusions and overtones in the book. In 1852, when the book was published, it ser ...more
Allison
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. Sure... it's a classic, we all should have read it in high school or what have you but I never did. I checked it out when it came up as a free Kindle book and it is honestly one of the best books I have ever read. I absolutely loved it and recommend it to anyone and everyone. It's a must read; no doubt about it.
Tara
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
The language of the slaves was a bit hard to read at first but it was only a small part of the book. It also made the characters come alive. This was an amazing tale. I can't help but feel such sorrow when I read about slavery. For the life of me, I can't see how people justified owning another person. People can twist and turn the bible to justify anything they see fit. I'm not a Christian but liked and agreed with the last chapter of the book where the author reminds people that even if they a ...more
Carol Brill
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
My first time reading this historically important book which is credited by many for raising awareness about the brutality of slavery and igniting the Civil War. That alone earns it a high rating.
It wasn't an easy read for me. Published in 1852, the writing by today's standards is at times over-written, preachy, and verbose. Some of the dialect, combined with the vivid, brutality of slavery made it a slow read at times.
The story captured me and I cared about Uncle Tom, his family, Little Eva a
...more
Philip
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, audio
I don't know why I'm always surprised when I like classics as much as I do.

So many points to consider. I've got to break this down into outline form so that I stay on track.

I. Uncle Tom as an insult is a bit unfair to the book
A. I get it. There's a place for it.
B. It takes away from the diversity of the characters in the book.
II. Harriet Beecher Stowe: DANG! That lady can write!
A. Could we talk about the crossing of the Ohio?
1. Yul Brynner
2. Run Eliza
B. Or any of the scenes with George
C.
...more
Anirudh
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
After reading a quote said by Abraham Lincoln to the author of this book I was curious to know more about her and her work and finally I managed to start Uncle Tom's Cabin.

The book was difficult read. It took much longer than I expected to finish. I had to reread entire conversations often to understand what they were saying

The pace of the novel is quite slow. The plot, melodramatic with characters which demand your sympathy. I can't even imagine what it would be like to be a slave. Bought and
...more
John
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jan 2017 was the right time for me to read this. I'd put it to one side until now.

Reading it prior to 20/1/17 and the swearing in of the 45th President of the USA, I doubt whether the message of 'Uncle Tom..would have resonated with me in quite the same way as it did.

I'd expected a syrupy period piece but this is hard hitting stuff: the double standards towards the race question/slavery, particularly within the church. Here in semi fiction is the grossness of man's inhumanity to man in all its
...more
Nathan
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x2016-july
It was a pretty good read overall. The plot was unsurprising, but enjoyable. The characters were the same. Stowe's mission in writing this book is crystal clear. Her agenda comes off as very heavy-handed, but that didn't bother me because she is so passionate about making a difference. And that's where the three stars comes from - enjoyable, but not great.

As propaganda, it's top notch. If you don't know what slavery is all about going into it, it's very informative and really tugs at the heartst
...more
Deemah Al-Otaibi
أغمِضُ الآن عيني فِي مُحاوَله أنْ أُحلّق في خيالي بَعيداً هناك ..الى حيث يستطيع خيالي الوصول , الى ذلك العالم .. حيث لا وزن لإنسانيتي , حيث أعيشُ مُتجردة من أبسط حقوقي الأكل , الشرب , الراحه .. و أن أكون ملك نفسي و أن ابقى مع عائلتي..

الى ذلك المكان حيث لا املك شيئا من الدنيا غير روحي وملابسي الرثه .. بل أكون مِلكَ شخص لا تزيد انسانيته عنّي ..حيث أُباع في سوق كما تباع الاحصنه و الابقار , والفرق الوحيد بيني وبين الابقار هي أنّي أشْعُر , و أدمع بصمتٍ ويتقطع قلبي إربا لمفارقه أحبابي .

و أتسائل بداخلي
...more
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Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe was an American author and abolitionist, whose novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) attacked the cruelty of slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential, even in Britain. It made the political issues of the 1850s regarding slavery tangible to millions, energizing anti-slavery forces in the American North. It angered and embittered the South. Th ...more
More about Harriet Beecher Stowe...

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“The longest way must have its close - the gloomiest night will wear on to a morning.” 822 likes
“Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came,—the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon,—that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure,—he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow.

The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room,alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately:

I have received yours,—but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget,—it is all that remains for either of us."

And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained,—the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare,—exceedingly real.

Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.”
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