xxxvi, 240 pages : illustrations, music ; 20 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
"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"--,Provided by publisher.
"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"--,Provided by publisher.