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Twelve Years a Slave

Solomon Northup

Book Overview: 

The book that inspired the 2014 Academy Award for Best Picture. Twelve Years a Slave is the memoir of a freeborn African American from New York who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. After being held for twelve years on a Louisiana plantation, he is eventually freed and reunited with his family.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .He aroused the children from their slumbers with a rough shake, and said they were d-d sleepy, it appeared. Going out into the yard, he called Clem Ray, ordering him to leave the loft and come into the cell, and bring his blanket with him. When Clem appeared, he placed us side by side, and fastened us together with hand-cuffs—my left hand to his right. John Williams had been taken out a day or two before, his master having redeemed him, greatly to his delight. Clem and I were ordered to march, Eliza and the children following, We were conducted into the yard, from thence into the covered passage, and up a flight of steps through a side door into the upper room, where I had heard the walking to and fro. Its furniture was a stove, a few old chairs, and a long table, covered with papers. It was a white-washed room, without any carpet on the floor, and seemed a sort of office. By one of the windows, I remember, hung a rusty sword, which attracted my attention. Burc. . . Read More

Community Reviews

“My sufferings I can compare to nothing else than the burning agonies of hell!”

This book is told from the view point of a man who was a slave, not some historian’s interpretation of the events or a novelist’s aggrandisement. It is a frank narrative of the events that surrounded one man’s persecution

There's a sin, a fearful sin, resting on this nation, that will not go unpunished forever. There will be reckoning yet ... it may be sooner or it may be later, but it's a coming as sure as the Lord is just.

-Solomon Northup, 1855

I am a middle-age American white guy obsessed with my country's shameful

This is a very powerful and important book. It seems like lately a lot of my selections have focused on the dark side of American history - and this one is particularly dark, sad, and disturbing.

I missed the big rush to read this book a few years ago when the movie came out. But I am finally glad I

This book discusses the story of Solomon Northup, born in New York and leading a peaceful life there.

He was kidnapped in Washington city, sold into slavery, and had to work as an enslaved person for 12 long years in Louisiana.

The author delineates the slave trade in Washington D.C., and New O

Um Herói da Vida Real

Existem múltiplas e variadas ficções sobre a escravatura nos USA. Porém, histórias verdadeiras, narradas por alguém que as sofreu e viveu, não conheço outra além desta!

Solomon Northup nasceu e viveu livre no Norte dos USA.
Um dia foi emboscado, raptado e vendido como escravo no

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