4 Followers
9 Following
clifhostetler

Clif's Book World

Adventures from reading books captured within short reviews.

Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Buck Schirner This is a book everyone has heard of, but few have read. The title has turned into a well know adjective that is intended to be uncomplimentary. It is an uncomfortable book for readers today because some the 19th Century ideas expressed by the characters (including blacks, whites, abolitionists and pro-slavery folks) in the book are frankly not politically correct under today's standards. Literary scholars don't give it high marks because they say it is too emotional, too sentimental, not complex enough, and too overtly religious. However, one can't understand the 19th Century without reading this book. I think this is the second best selling book of the 19th Century after the Bible. This is the book that (it can be argued) caused the the Civil War. I think it should be read and appreciated for the insight it gives into the heart felt emotions of Northerners in reaction to the Fugitive Slave Act that made it a federal crime to assist slaves who had fled from slave states. Another characteristic of this book is its emphasis on the heartbreak consequences of breaking up slave families. The book portrays several examples of the painful anguish caused by children being taken away from mothers. Some have suggested that this book may have never been written if slave owners had not been permitted to break up the family's of slaves by selling them to different owners. The story is painful for 21st Century readers to read even with the knowledge that the conditions described happened over 150 years ago. The book must have been even more unbearable for mid 19th Century readers since it described current happenings. Stowe's writing is clear and easy to read. I recommend it to all.