Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jun 13, 2011 - History - 368 pages
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“Fascinating . . . a lively and perceptive cultural history.” —Annette Gordon-Reed, The New Yorker

In this wide-ranging, brilliantly researched work, David S. Reynolds traces the factors that made Uncle Tom’s Cabin the most influential novel ever written by an American. Upon its 1852 publication, the novel’s vivid depiction of slavery polarized its American readership, ultimately widening the rift that led to the Civil War. Reynolds also charts the novel’s afterlife—including its adaptation into plays, films, and consumer goods—revealing its lasting impact on American entertainment, advertising, and race relations.

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MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A provocative overview of the life and afterlife of one of American literature's most important texts.Published in 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin has a battered reputation, not least in the way the term ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

David S. Reynolds is Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His books include Walt Whitman’s America: A Cultural Biography; John Brown, Abolitionist; Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville; Mightier Than the Sword: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and the Battle for America; Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson; Walt Whitman; George Lippard; and Faith in Fiction: The Emergence of Religious Literature in America. Reynolds is the editor or coeditor of seven books, including Whitman’s Leaves of Grass: The 150th Anniversary Edition, A Historical Guide to Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin: The Splendid Edition, and George Lippard’s The Quaker City; or, The Monks of Monk Hall. He is the winner of the Bancroft Prize, the Christian Gauss Award, the Ambassador Book Award, the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Prize and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review.

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