The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin

The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin

By Harriet Beecher Stowe; Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Editor); Hollis Robbins (Editor)

W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393059465, 480pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2006

Description
Declared worthless and dehumanizing by James Baldwin in 1949, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" has lacked literary credibility for fifty years. Now, in a ringing refutation of Baldwin, Henry Louis Gates Jr. demonstrates the literary transcendence of Harriet Beecher Stowe's masterpiece. "Uncle Tom's Cabin," first published in 1852, galvanized the American public as no other work of fiction has ever done. The editors animate pre-Civil War life with rich insights into the lives of slaves, abolitionists, and the American reading public. Examining the lingering effects of the novel, they provide new insights into emerging race-relation, women's, gay, and gender issues. With reproductions of rare prints, posters, and photographs, this book is also one of the most thorough anthologies of Uncle Tom images up to the present day.


About the Author
Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American author and abolitionist. Born in Litchfield, Connecticut, she was raised in a deeply religious family and educated in a seminary school run by her elder sister. In her adult life, Stowe married biblical scholar and abolitionist Calvin Ellis Stowe, who would later go on to work as Harriet s literary agent, and the two participated in the Underground Railroad by providing temporary refuge for escaped slaves travelling to the American North. Shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War, Stowe published her most famous work, Uncle Tom s Cabin, a stark and sympathetic depiction of the desperate lives of African American slaves. The book went on to see unprecedented sales, and informed American and European attitudes towards abolition. In the years leading up to her death, suffering from dementia or Alzheimer s disease, Stowe is said to have begun re-writing Uncle Tom s Cabin, almost word-for-word, believing that she was writing the original manuscript once again. Stowe died in July 1, 1896 at the age of eighty-five.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Ph.D.Cambridge), is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and American Research, Harvard University. He is the author of Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513 2008; Black in Latin America; Tradition and the Black Atlantic: Critical Theory in the African Diaspora; Faces of America; Figures in Black: Words, Signs, and the Racial Self; The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Criticism; Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars; Colored People: A Memoir; The Future of Race with Cornel West; Wonders of the African World; Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man; and The Trials of Phillis Wheatley. His is also the writer, producer, and narrator of PBS documentaries Finding Your Roots; Black in Latin America; Faces of America; African American Lives 1 and 2; Looking for Lincoln; America Beyond the Color Line; and Wonders of the African World. He is the editor of African American National Biography with Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and The Dictionary of African Biography with Anthony Appiah; Encyclopedia Africana with Anthony Appiah; and The Bondwoman s Narrative by Hannah Crafts, as well as editor-in-chief of TheRoot.com.

Hollis Robbins received a PhD from Princeton University in English literature. She teaches at Millsaps College in Mississippi.