On a recent auto trip, my wife and I passed the freeway miles listening to a recording of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In the 1850s, this sensational bestseller lit the fuse of the explosion of moral passion that made the American Civil War inevitable, and so touched the conscience of England that the British government could not pursue its commercial interests by helping the South to break the ruinous naval blockade. Today, hardly anybody reads Uncle Tom’s Cabin, probably because the book has picked up a reputation as a cliché-ridden anti-slavery potboiler rather than as the moving story of faith and courage it truly is.
Another reason for the neglect of Uncle Tom’s Cabin is that it is written with a profoundly Christian sensibility that modern people have been taught to deride. This factor alone woul . . .
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