"The moving abolitionist novel that fueled the fire of the human rights debate in 1852 and condemned the institution of slavery through such powerfully realized characters as Tom, Eliza, Topsy, Eva, and Simon Legree. First published more than 150 years ago, this monumental work is today being reexamined by critics, scholars, and students. Harriet Beecher Stowe was appalled by slavery, and she took one of the few options open to nineteenth century women who wanted to affect public opinion: she wrote a novel, a huge, enthralling narrative that claimed the heart, soul, and politics of pre-Civil War Americans. In a time when many whites claimed slavery had ""good effects"" on blacks, Uncle Tom's Cabin paints pictures of three plantations, each worse than the other, where even the best plantation leaves a slave at the mercy of fate or debt. Her questions remain penetrating even today: ""Is man ever a creature to be trusted with wholly irresponsible power?"" Though "Uncle Tom" has become a synonym for a fawning black yes-man, Stowe's Tom is actually American literature's first black hero, a man who suffers for refusing to obey his white oppressors. Uncle Tom's Cabin is a living, relevant story, passionate in its vivid depiction of the cruelest forms of injustice and inhumanity-and the courage it takes to fight against them."