A first person memoir of Solomon Northup. Northup was an African American, born a free man in New York State. He was kidnapped in 1841 , sold into slavery and kept as a slave for 12 years in Louisiana. It is a true account of the abominable conditions of slavery in America. Originally Published in 1853, the book describes in depth the conditions of slaves. The brutality, dehumanization, and desperation of the situation. 12 Years a Slave was released just a year after the fictional Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet beecher Stowe. Northup's first hand account of life as a slave helped fuel the fire for the abolitionist movement galvanized by Uncle Tom's Cabin. A movie has been made based on the book starring; Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, and Paul Giamatti.