Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Originally published by National Era, a Free Soil periodical, 1852.

Because the book was written with the purpose of inflaming the public regarding slavery, I expected the book to be overly dramatic and poorly written. The literary critics of the time did not praise the author. I also expected the book to be overly descriptive as much of the writing is from that period and to have dialogue that modern readers find difficult to get past. I was delighted to find that the book flows smoothly and is realistic. It is also more powerful than I would have imagined it to be. Some of my enjoyment comes from having read a biography of the author first, Jean Fritz's Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers. So, I knew beforehand that Stowe had seen firsthand experiences in her book. The book did also serve its purpose. It inflamed both the North and the South and guaranteed further discussion all over. Lincoln called it "the book that made this great war!"(Civil War).

Growing up in the South but being from a Northern family, the Civil War and black civil rights were things that I wanted to learn about and understand. I only had one teacher that recommended the book-my junior English teacher in high school who I suspect was from New England. I would bet there are still people in the South that get angry about Uncle Tom's Cabin. When I was in high school (1980s), there were definitely those still angry about the Civil War. I finally read the book because I was preparing to guide my son through Maine Studies, and Harriet Beecher Stowe is a Maine author.

I found the book interesting to read because of its influence in politics, but also I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Note: This book would not have been called a historical novel when it was published. I have classed it has historical fiction now because it is a novel and discusses a period of our history.

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