Uncle Tom's Cabin: or, Life Among the Lowly

Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman. Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century, and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. It is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States alone. In 1855, three years after it was published, it was called "the most popular novel of our day." The impact attributed to the book is great, reinforced by a story that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln declared, "So this is the little lady who made this big war." The quote is apocryphal; it did not appear in print until 1896, and it has been argued that "The long-term durability of Lincoln's greeting as an anecdote in literary studies and Stowe scholarship can perhaps be explained in part by the desire among many contemporary intellectuals ... to affirm the role of literature as an agent of social change."

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By Tammy (Memphis, TN) · ★★★★★ · September 08, 2008
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 wit... ...more
By J (Forest Grove, OR) · ★★★★★ · December 05, 2008
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 Therefore, when I began reading this novel, originally published in 1852, I was expecting a woefully-outdated story with painful, outrageous s... ...more
By Jessica (Germany) · ★★★☆☆ · August 29, 2007
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 h... ...more
By Ann Marie (Pennsville, NJ) · ★★★★★ · July 06, 2008
Life-changing book. This was a great read-aloud with my kids. We finished it on Easter Sunday - very appropriate. ...more
By Marie (Cleveland, OH) · ★★☆☆☆ · March 29, 2009
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 g... ...more
By Arianne "Tex" (Irving, TX) · ★★★★☆ · May 04, 2012
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 wi... ...more
By Lydia (Waipahu, HI) · ★★★★☆ · August 23, 2012
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 m... ...more
By Jason (Chicago, IL) · ★★★★☆ · March 26, 2010
(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... ...more
By Karen (Dumfries, VA) · ★★★★★ · February 26, 2009
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 deve... ...more