Rethinking Uncle Tom

Rethinking Uncle Tom : The Political Thought of Harriet Beecher Stowe

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Rethinking Uncle Tom thoroughly explains Uncle Tom's Cabin as an articulation of the conditions of democratic life and the nature of modern humanism. The most mature elements of Stowe's political thought emerge from a close reading of Sunny Memories and of Oldtown Folks. This book develops familiarity with the moral discourse of abolition and nineteenth-century reformism, and it offers a glimpse of an America envisioned as producing a nobility of soul represented in the human model of surpassing excellence.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 484 pages
  • 157.48 x 228.6 x 45.72mm | 793.78g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739127985
  • 9780739127988

About William B. Allen

W. B. Allen is emeritus professor of political science at Michigan State University and author of George Washington: America's First Progressive andThe Personal and the Political: Three Fables by Montesquieu. An Introduction to Political Philosophy.show more

Review quote

Uncle Tom's Cabin is an extraordinary work that helped remake our country and infuse considerations of humanity into our national character. Rethinking Uncle Tom is an extraordinary work of scholarship-the culmination of decades of research and thinking by W.B. Allen. It is more than the finest book ever written on that volume. It rediscovers Stowe's sophisticated political theory and gives Stowe her place as one of our country's finest political philosophers, who presented an integrated vision of liberty and equality over slavery. She helped lead our nation to realize the possibilities of a political existence that would bring us as close as humanly possible to perfection. -- Alfred L. Brophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill The author offers solid anaylsis of specific moments in Stowe's narrative. His scholarship is impressive: his depth of knowledge and his ability to sift through the text is admirable. One of the book's strengths is its attention to forgotten political arguments and theory of Stowe's day. Allen revives interest in Calvin Stowe, Harriet's husband, and shows how skillfully Harriet gave voice to her husband's philosophical, moral, and scholarly thought. In discussing their mutual support, Allen realigns them as virtually a collaborative team that both generated important political theory and communicated it to a vast readership... Recommended. CHOICE, October 2009 William B. Allen's astute and provocative interpretation ofUncle Tom's Cabin is a tour de force in Stowe scholarship, demonstrating at once Allen's deft handling of political literature and Stowe's profound treatment of America's founding principles through literary politics. -- Colleen Sheehan, Villanova Universityshow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Preface Part 2 Book I. The Ghostly Cry:Uncle Tom's Cabin Part 3 Part I Chapter 4 Chapter 1. The Question of Equality Chapter 5 Chapter 2. The Real Alternatives Chapter 6 Chapter 3. Standards of Humanity Chapter 7 Chapter 4. Stowe's Own Introductions Chapter 8 Chapter 5. A Little Wine and Brandy: The Narrative Begins Chapter 9 Chapter 6. Patriarchy, Matriarchy, and other Myths of Slavery Chapter 10 Chapter 7. The Birth of Uncle Tom Chapter 11 Chapter 8. The Kinesis of Slavery and the Science of Natures Chapter 12 Chapter 9. "What Country Have I?" Chapter 13 Chapter 10. We Have No City Chapter 14 Chapter 11. The Light of the Present Chapter 15 Chapter 12. Myth Making and the End Chapter 16 Chapter 13. An Unaccountable Prejudice Chapter 17 Chapter 14. Triumph Part 18 Part II Chapter 19 Chapter 15. The Genealogy of Uncle Tom Chapter 20 Chapter 16. Calvin's Ideas Chapter 21 Chapter 17. The Central Problem: Slavery Chapter 22 Chapter 18. The General Significance of Uncle Tom's Cabin Part 23 Book II. Non-utopian Optimism: Harriet Stowe'sEvangelical Liberalism Part 24 Part I Chapter 25 Chapter 19. An American Campaign Abroad Chapter 26 Chapter 20. A Cause Celebre Chapter 27 Chapter 21. Seasickness; or, The Way Things Really Look Chapter 28 Chapter 22. The Scotland Campaign: A Beginning and End of Liberal History Chapter 29 Chapter 23. The Practical Politics of the Matter Chapter 30 Chapter 24. The Defense of Melodrama Chapter 31 Chapter 25. Pre-utopian Reflections Part 32 Part II Chapter 33 Chapter 26. Anutopia Chapter 34 Chapter 27. Coda-Was Harriet Stowe a Racist Chapter 35 Chapter 28. Postscriptshow more

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