When Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862, he greeted her as "the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war." He was exaggerating only slightly. First published in 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin sold more than 300,000 copies in its first year and brought home the evils of slavery more dramatically than any abolitionist tract possibly could. With its boldly drawn characters, violent reversals of fortune, and unabashed sentimentality, Stowe's work remains one of the great polemical novels of American literature, a book with the emotional impact of a round of cannon fire.
For almost thirty years, The Library of America has presented America's best and most significant writing in acclaimed hardcover editions. Now, a new series, Library of America Paperback Classics, offers attractive and affordable books that bring The Library of America's authoritative texts within easy reach of every reader. Each book features an introductory essay by one of a leading writer, as well as a detailed chronology of the author's life and career, an essay on the choice and history of the text, and notes.
The contents of this Paperback Classic are drawn from Harriet Beecher Stowe: Three Novels, volume number 4 in The Library of America series. That volume also includes The Minister's Wooing and Oldtown Folks.