Faculty Book: David S. Reynolds
David S. Reynolds
Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Battle for America
(W. W. Norton, 2011)
Uncle Tom’s Cabin may be the most influential novel ever written by an American. In a fitting tribute to the 200th anniversary of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s birth, Bancroft Prize–winning historian Reynolds reveals her book’s impact not only on the abolitionist movement and the American Civil War but also on worldwide events, including the end of serfdom in Russia, down to its influence in the twentieth century. He explores how Stowe’s background, as the daughter in a famously intellectual family of preachers, and her religious visions were fundamental to the novel. And he demonstrates why the book was beloved by millions—and won over even some Southerners—while fueling lasting conflicts over the meaning of America. Although vilified over the years as often as praised, it has remained a cultural landmark. David S. Reynolds is a distinguished professor of English and American studies at the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: JUN 13, 2011