Revisiting Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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What the most important and influential book in American history still teaches us, despite its flaws.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T oday marks the 210th birthday of Harriet Beecher Stowe — the most important and influential woman in American history, by virtue of having written the most important and influential book in American history. Indeed, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was more influential in the 19th century than any other book written in that century. We should commemorate its landmark significance.

We should also read it. Despite its flaws, Uncle Tom’s Cabin remains a powerful contemporary testimony to the immorality of slavery in the United States, and a compelling piece of writing. It combines a novelist’s flair for storytelling with both political polemic and

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