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Mightier than the Sword

Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America

David S. Reynolds (Author, City University of New York Graduate Center)

Overview | Formats

“Fascinating . . . a lively and perceptive cultural history.” —Annette Gordon-Reed, The New Yorker

In this wide-ranging, brilliantly researched work, David S. Reynolds traces the factors that made Uncle Tom’s Cabin the most influential novel ever written by an American. Upon its 1852 publication, the novel’s vivid depiction of slavery polarized its American readership, ultimately widening the rift that led to the Civil War. Reynolds also charts the novel’s afterlife—including its adaptation into plays, films, and consumer goods—revealing its lasting impact on American entertainment, advertising, and race relations.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • June 2012
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34235-2
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 368 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverMightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America


Endorsements & Reviews

“A splendid and subtle history.” — Fergus M. Bordewich, Wall Street Journal

“Consistently enlightening. . . . Mightier than the Sword deftly explores the social-intellectual context and personal experience out of which Stowe’s novel evolved into a grand entertainment and a titanic engine of change.” — Dan Cryer, Boston Globe

“Reynolds has given us another cultural history of assured mastery, a history that combines deep erudition, lightly worn, with a lively and readable style.” — Tim Redman, Dallas Morning News

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