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Rethinking Uncle Tom The Political Thought of Harriet Beecher Stowe by William B. Allen

Rethinking Uncle Tom The Political Thought of Harriet Beecher Stowe


Rethinking Uncle Tom The Political Thought of Harriet Beecher Stowe by William B. Allen

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.


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 University

About the Author

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th March 2009


William B. Allen

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Lexington Books


484 pages


Political science & theory



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