Solomon Northup 12 Years a Slave

ISBN 13: 9781495954054

12 Years a Slave

 
9781495954054: 12 Years a Slave
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Now a major motion picture, this remarkable memoir details Solomon Northup’s twelve years of slavery, from his capture and his being sold into servitude, to his eventual release. This classic text shows the sheer brutality that was inflicted on slaves in the Deep South, as well as the humanity that eventually helped Solomon regain his freedom.

Also included in this version of Twelve Years a Slave is biographical information detailing Solomon Northup’s life after his release from slavery, and a glossary with helpful information on rare and obscure words.

First published in 1853, 12 Years a Slave is the extraordinary account of one man's courage in the face of cruelty and injustice.

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Review:

"A moving, vital testament to one of slavery's 'many thousands gone' who retained his humanity in the bowels of degradation. It is also a chilling insight into the 'peculiar institution.'" --"Saturday Review"
"For sheer drama, few accounts of slavery match Solomon Northup's tale of abduction from freedom and forcible enslavement." --Ira Berlin, from the Introduction

"When I read ["Twelve Years a Slave"] for the first time, it was like the first time I read Anne Frank's diary. And I wondered to myself, 'Why isn't this book on everyone's bookshelf.' . . . For me, it's a classic. It should be in every school." --Steve McQueen, director of the film adaptation of "Twelve Years a Slave, "in "Entertainment Weekly"

"Frightening, gripping and inspiring . . . Northup's story seems almost biblical, structured as it is as a descent and resurrection narrative of a protagonist who, like Christ, was 33 at the time of his abduction. . . . Northup reminds us of the fragile nature of freedom in any human society and the harsh reality that whatever legal boundaries existed between so-called free states and slave states in 1841, no black man, woman or child was permanently safe." "--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "The Root""

"A moving, vital testament to one of slavery's 'many thousands gone' who retained his humanity in the bowels of degradation. It is also a chilling insight into the 'peculiar institution.'" --"Saturday Review"

"I could not believe that I had never heard of this book. It felt as important as Anne Frank's "Diary, " only published nearly a hundred years before. . . . The book blew [my] mind: the epic range, the details, the adventure, the horror, and the humanity. . . . I hope my film can play a part in drawing attention to this important book of courage. Solomon's bravery and life deserve nothing less." --Steve McQueen, director of "12 Years a Slave, "from the Foreword
"Frightening, gripping and inspiring . . . Northup's story seems almost biblical, structured as it is as a descent and resurrection narrative of a protagonist who, like Christ, was 33 at the time of his abduction. . . . Northup reminds us of the fragile nature of freedom in any human society and the harsh reality that whatever legal boundaries existed between so-called free states and slave states in 1841, no black man, woman or child was permanently safe." --Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "from the Afterword"
"For sheer drama, few accounts of slavery match Solomon Northup's tale of abduction from freedom and forcible enslavement." --Ira Berlin, from the Introduction
"If you think the movie offers a terrible-enough portrait of slavery, please, do read the book. . . . The film is stupendous art, but it owes much to a priceless piece of document. Solomon Northup's memoir is history. . . . His was not simply an extraordinary story, but an account of the life of a great many ordinary people." --"The Daily Beast"
"An incredible document, amazingly told and structured. Tough, but riveting. The movie of it by Steve McQueen might be the most successful adaptation of a book ever undertaken; text and film complement each other wildly." --Rachel Kushner, "The New York Times Book Review"
"The best firsthand account of slavery." --James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Battle Cry of Freedom, "in "The New York Times Book Review"
"Northup published a memoir of his 12-year nightmare in 1853, the year after "Uncle Tom's Cabin "came out, and it was so successful that he went on to participate in two stage adaptations. The book dropped from sight in the 20th century, but the movie tie-in will certainly reestablish its virtually unique status as a work by an educated free man who managed to return from slavery." --"The Hollywood Reporter"

I could not believe that I had never heard of this book. It felt as important as Anne Frank s Diary, only published nearly a hundred years before. . . . The book blew [my] mind: the epic range, the details, the adventure, the horror, and the humanity. . . . I hope my film can play a part in drawing attention to this important book of courage.Solomon s bravery and life deserve nothing less. Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave, from the Foreword
Frightening, gripping and inspiring . . . Northup s story seems almost biblical, structured as it is as a descent and resurrection narrative of a protagonist who, like Christ, was 33 at the time of his abduction. . . . Northup reminds us of the fragile nature of freedom in any human society and the harsh reality that whatever legal boundaries existed between so-called free states and slave states in 1841, no black man, woman or child was permanently safe. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., from the Afterword
For sheer drama, few accounts of slavery match Solomon Northup s tale of abduction from freedom and forcible enslavement. Ira Berlin, from the Introduction
If you think the movie offers a terrible-enough portrait of slavery, please, do read the book. . . . The film is stupendous art, but it owes much to a priceless piece of document. Solomon Northup s memoir is history. . . . His was not simply an extraordinary story, but an account of the life of a great many ordinary people. The Daily Beast
An incredible document, amazingly told and structured. Tough, but riveting. The movie of it by Steve McQueen might be the most successful adaptation of a book ever undertaken; text and film complement each other wildly. Rachel Kushner, The New York Times Book Review
The best firsthand account of slavery. James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom, in The New York Times Book Review
Northup published a memoir of his 12-year nightmare in 1853, the year after Uncle Tom s Cabin came out, and it was so successful that he went on to participate in two stage adaptations. The book dropped from sight in the 20th century, but the movie tie-in will certainly reestablish its virtually unique status as a work by an educated free man who managed to return from slavery. The Hollywood Reporter"

About the Author:

Solomon Northup was born a free man in Minerva, Essex County, New York in July 1808.

His father, Mintus Northup, was a freed slave, who took his surname from the family he had served. Mintus's master, Captain Henry Northup, granted Mintus his freedom in his will. After the death of Captain Northup, Mintus, as well as becoming a free man, also managed, later on, to gain the vote by virtue of meeting New York State's property requirements, an impressive feat for someone coming from such a humble background. Mintus died in 1829.

Solomon's mother – unnamed in the book – was a woman of mixed ancestry. There are only sketchy details about her in Solomon's memoir, but it is mentioned that she died while Solomon was held as a slave in the Deep South. Solomon described his mother as a quadroon, meaning she was one quarter black and three-quarters white.

In 1829, Solomon married Anne Hampton, a woman of African, European and Native American heritage, and together they had three children: Elizabeth, Margaret and Alonzo. Solomon Northup worked as a raftsman, carpenter, construction worker and a fiddler, and he and his family initially owned a farm in Hebron, Washington County, before moving to Saratoga Springs, New York to take advantage of better employment prospects. Whilst Solomon worked, mainly as a musician, Anne was employed intermittently as a cook for local taverns and for the United States Hotel.

In 1841, aged 32, Solomon Northup met with two men who called themselves Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton. After gaining his trust, they drugged him and sold him to slave trader, James Birch, and claimed that Solomon was a fugitive slave. Solomon was then taken to Louisiana, where he remained in slavery for twelve years. It is these twelve years of slavery that are reflected on in this compelling memoir.

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