Resources for Students

"there is, finally, too much rather than too little to say about Uncle Tom's Cabin."
Jamie Stanesa *

The literary aspects of Uncle Tom's Cabin and the social issues that it raises continue to provide rich material for study and debate. This list highlights a few examples of scholars' interpretations of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Also included are websites that provide further opportunities for research on American slavery and Stowe's historical moment.


Books

  • Gossett, Thomas F., Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1985).
    Gossett's exploration of the context from which Stowe's novel emerged, and the reception it received, makes this book a helpful resource for students and teachers. Included are chapters such as "The Reaction to Uncle Tom's Cabin in the South," "Uncle Tom's Cabin as a Play in the 1850s," and "Critical Reception of Uncle Tom's Cabin: 1941 to the present."

  • Hedrick, Joan D., Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).
    Hedrick's biography is the most recent and considered the most definitive work on scholarship on the life of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

  • Stowe, Harriet Beecher, Uncle Tom's Cabin. 1852. Ed. Elizabeth Ammons. (New York; London, W.W. Norton and Co., 1994).
    The rich appendices of the 1994 Norton edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin include maps, slave sale announcements, excerpts from slave narratives, illustrations, a letter from Stowe, and critical reviews from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  • Sundquist, Eric J., ed., New Essays on Uncle Tom's Cabin (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986).
    This collection of essays offers a range of contemporary scholarly perspectives on the novel.


Essays

  • Baldwin, James, "Everybody's Protest Novel," in Partisan Review 16 (1949): 578-585. Reprinted in Notes of a Native Son (Boston: Beacon Press, 1955).
    Baldwin's scathing critique in 1949 is still the most famous piece of critical scholarship on Uncle Tom's Cabin and an argument that continues to influence debates about Stowe's novel.

  • Railton, Stephen, "White Readers and Black Slaves," in Approaches to Teaching Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2000): 104-110.
    Railton's essay offers an interpretation of the connection between the religious and racial aspects of Uncle Tom's Cabin.


Related Websites

The links below will bring up the websites in new windows. To return to this site from one of the websites below, close the windows by clicking on the "x" at the top-right of the screen.

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture
    http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/utc/
    The most extensive multi-media archive on Uncle Tom's Cabin in all its cultural manifestations. Includes illustrations, film clips, book reviews, and much more.

  • Africans in America
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/
    This PBS site chronicles the history of American slavery through images, documents, stories, biographies, and commentary.

  • American Memory
    http://rs6.loc.gov/amhome.html
    This Library of Congress site offers a rich array of primary documents on American history and culture.

  • Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
    http://www.pbs.org/stantonanthony/index.html
    Learn more about women's roles and the women's rights movement in the middle of the nineteenth century.

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
    http://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org
    This is the official website of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and Library.