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Twelve years a slave. Narrative of Solomon…
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Twelve years a slave. Narrative of Solomon Northup, a citizen of New-York,… (1853 original; edició 1853)

de Solomon Northup, D. Wilson (Editor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
2,695913,846 (4.19)129
"A harrowing memoir about one of the darkest periods in American historyBorn a free man in New York, Solomon Northup was abducted in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and spent the next twelve years of his life in captivity as a slave on a Louisiana cotton plantation. After his rescue, he published this exceptionally vivid and detailed account of slave life--perhaps the best written of all the slave narratives. It became an immediate bestseller and today is recognized for its unusual insight and eloquence as one of the very few portraits of American slavery produced by someone as educated as Solomon Northup, or by someone with the dual perspective of having been both a free man and a slave"-- "Born a free man in New York State in 1808, Solomon Northup was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841. He spent the next twelve harrowing years of his life as a slave on a Louisiana cotton plantation. During this time he was frequently abused and often afraid for his life. After regaining his freedom in 1853, Northup decided to publish this gripping autobiographical account of his captivity. As an educated man, Northup was able to present an exceptionally detailed and accurate description of slave life and plantation society. Indeed, this book is probably the fullest, most realistic picture of the "peculiar institution" during the three decades before the Civil War. Moreover, Northup tells his story both from the viewpoint of an outsider, who had experienced thirty years of freedom and dignity in the United States before his capture, and as a slave, reduced to total bondage and submission. Very few personal accounts of American slavery were written by slaves with a similar history. Published in 1853, Northup's book found a ready audience and almost immediately became a bestseller. Aside from its vivid depiction of the detention, transportation, and sale of slaves, TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE is admired for its classic accounts of cotton and sugar production, its uncannily precise recall of people, times, and places, and the compelling details that recreate the daily routine of slaves in the Gulf South"--… (més)
Membre:GrahamHodges
Títol:Twelve years a slave. Narrative of Solomon Northup, a citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and rescued in 1853, from a cotton plantation near the Red River, in Louisiana
Autors:Solomon Northup
Altres autors:D. Wilson (Editor)
Informació:Auburn, Buffalo, Derby and Miller; Derby, Orton and Mulligan; [etc., etc.] 1853.
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Slavery, African Americans

Detalls de l'obra

Twelve Years a Slave de Solomon Northup (1853)

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» Mira també 129 mencions

Anglès (88)  Francès (1)  Alemany (1)  Hongarès (1)  Totes les llengües (91)
Es mostren 1-5 de 91 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Powerful and horrific account of slavery, when the New York author- a free man, a husband and father, earning a living labouring and playing the violin, is kidnapped and sold into the sugar and cotton mills of Louisiana.
He describes a succession of "owners" - from the reasonable to the psychopathic- a host of tragic stories of those other slaves he meets; and eventually, thanks to a sympathetic white visitor, the intervention of the law to restore his freedom...though the reader is well aware that no legislation could help his former fellow slaves.
Makes the white reader stop and ponder - with shame and horror- just what was done by our ancestors; ( )
  starbox | Feb 9, 2021 |
Hard to rate something like this. I certainly cannot rate for enjoyment. Reading this made me burn in anger and my eyes water. Despite the cruel, dehumanizing events, this was not an easy read, but it was easy to read. It only takes a few times to get used to Northup’s manner of speaking. I almost read it all in one sitting.

In light of recent events, those who say “This is not who America is,” surely have their head in the ground. Of course, this place can be better—should be better—but it was built on mass racism, enslavement, and genocide.

Anyway, I’m glad to have seen this in book form because I certainly could not have seen it visually.
( )
  DestDest | Jan 20, 2021 |
Incredible story. I read this after seeing the movie, and I'm surprised to see that nearly all of the same elements are there, with perhaps a few minor tweaks combining some of Solomon's overseers/owners into fewer personalities, more suitable for film. About the only noticeable scene that's missing from the movie is Solomon's stopover in Washington during the return trip to sue Burch -- not the most painful of Solomon's experiences, but quite possibly the most frustrating.

As for the book itself, Solomon's tale is highly readable still today. The narrative is fast paced, yet provides sufficient detail to give a good sense of the people who made up a significant part of Solomon's life for that rather long interstice of enslavement. I was also intrigued at Solomon's interjections and descriptions of the institution of slavery, which he described as a complex system full of masters and mistresses who are variously benevolent and baneful, pious and puerile, magnanimous and megalomaniacal. Solomon's commentary on the system is as nuanced as it is unforgiving, being critical without becoming too -- tract-y, for lack of a better word. At the end he even acknowledges that if there is any fault of his story, it is that he highlighted "too prominently the bright side of the picture," a sentiment which it would be much too understated to call unexpected at best.

While not always a happy story, this is definitely a great one.

( )
  octoberdad | Dec 16, 2020 |
A personal account of slavery in the 1840s South. ( )
  addunn3 | Sep 21, 2020 |
I did not see the film made of this book until after I read the book. I will make a few comments about the two at the end.

This is an extraordinary story, although apparently what happened to Solomon Northrup - the kidnapping, not so much the release - was quite common. This book is extraordinary because it was actually written at the time, because the facts in it have been verified to the extent possible, because it is available now, after languishing for so many years. And because it is such a good book.

Northrup was a black man born in the north, a free man. Born in 1808, he married 21 years later and was a successful happy father when he was kidnapped in 1841. He quickly learned that it was fruitless to tell others who he was, that he was not an escaped slave from the south but rather a successful businessman from New York and Washington. He learned to adapt to a different name and a different history just to stay alive.

Owned by both good and bad slave owners, Northrup had the bad fortune to spend most of his twelve years of slavery under the bad ones. And by bad I mean horrific. Slaves were worked long hours every day, yet to cook or eat or dress they had to work for wages on their Sundays so they could buy cooking implements or anything else they needed. Food was short and often rancid or filled with maggots. Yet they were expected to produce at high levels for full long days in the sun. When a slave flagged at all, he or she was whipped.

Northrup describes a few incidents that seem incredible. If this were fiction I would have thought, "oh sure, that would happen". For example, as a free boy and man he became a good swimmer. Slaves were not allowed to learn to swim because they might escape that way. There came a time when Northrup essentially saved his own life because of this skill. Similarly, he crafted a contraption to trap fish from a river, keeping him and his fellow slaves from starving. It was because he had self-confidence, a good education, and good experience that he was able to do this.

It was, of course, this education that gave us this book. Northrup writes well, particularly for a person not experienced in writing as a career, and writing at a time when editing was not particularly common. He tells the story with no self-pity, does not linger on horrors and tragedies, simply tells it plainly, which has amazing power.

Northrup was always looking for a way to get his story to the right people. He knew many who would help if they knew where he was. Finally he was able to do so with the help of a builder who worked for himself and who held rather different views on slavery than the typical southern white man. It was through the efforts of this man that he was rescued twelve years after his kidnapping. Northrup became quite famous at the time, was sought out for speeches and articles, but eventually the excitement died down and the rest of his life went unrecorded.

I found the movie version remarkably close to the book in the basic incidents and people. In some cases details were changed for greater drama. At other times I felt the film actually drew back some from what it must have been like. In general I felt the book had a greater impact, was more memorable and more horrific.

Although it contains incidents that are hard to read about, the book never lingers and therefore can be read easily. It's worth it.
( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Northup, Solomonautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Eakin, Sue LEditorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Berlin, IraIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Colenbrander, AnneEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Crisden, SeanNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Eakin, SueEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Foner, Philip S.Introduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.Epílegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kok, IngeTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
McQueen, StevePrefaciautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Nimwegen, Arjaan vanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Nimwegen, Thijs vanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Stigter, BiancaIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Van Den Broucke, LeenTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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To
Harriet Beecher Stowe:
whose name,
throughout the world, is identified
with the
Great Reform:
this narrative, affording another
Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin,
is respectfully dedicated
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When the editor commenced the preparation of the following narrative, he did not suppose it would reach the size of this volume. - Editor's Preface
Having been born a freeman, and for more than thirty years enjoyed the blessings of liberty in a free State—and having at the end of that time been kidnapped and sold into Slavery, where I remained, until happily rescued in the month of January, 1853, after a bondage of twelve years—it has been suggested that an account of my life and fortunes would not be uninteresting to the public.
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

"A harrowing memoir about one of the darkest periods in American historyBorn a free man in New York, Solomon Northup was abducted in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and spent the next twelve years of his life in captivity as a slave on a Louisiana cotton plantation. After his rescue, he published this exceptionally vivid and detailed account of slave life--perhaps the best written of all the slave narratives. It became an immediate bestseller and today is recognized for its unusual insight and eloquence as one of the very few portraits of American slavery produced by someone as educated as Solomon Northup, or by someone with the dual perspective of having been both a free man and a slave"-- "Born a free man in New York State in 1808, Solomon Northup was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841. He spent the next twelve harrowing years of his life as a slave on a Louisiana cotton plantation. During this time he was frequently abused and often afraid for his life. After regaining his freedom in 1853, Northup decided to publish this gripping autobiographical account of his captivity. As an educated man, Northup was able to present an exceptionally detailed and accurate description of slave life and plantation society. Indeed, this book is probably the fullest, most realistic picture of the "peculiar institution" during the three decades before the Civil War. Moreover, Northup tells his story both from the viewpoint of an outsider, who had experienced thirty years of freedom and dignity in the United States before his capture, and as a slave, reduced to total bondage and submission. Very few personal accounts of American slavery were written by slaves with a similar history. Published in 1853, Northup's book found a ready audience and almost immediately became a bestseller. Aside from its vivid depiction of the detention, transportation, and sale of slaves, TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE is admired for its classic accounts of cotton and sugar production, its uncannily precise recall of people, times, and places, and the compelling details that recreate the daily routine of slaves in the Gulf South"--

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