Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

The power of books to start or instigate wars

As Congress considers President Obama's request for support of a strike against Syria, a Los Angeles Times article by Hector Tobar discusses the power of books and writing in impact wars. "Four books on Syria to help understand its troubled history" considers which texts today provide accurate background on Syria, and opens its argument with Harriet Beecher Stowe and the impact of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

"Books can start wars, or shape how they are fought.
Abraham Lincoln famously told Harriet Beecher Stowe that her book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” started the Civil War."

Uncle Tom's Cabin contributed to the outbreak of war by personalizing the political and economic arguments about slavery. Stowe's informal, conversational writing style inspired people in a way that political speeches, tracts and newspapers accounts could not. Uncle Tom's Cabin helped many 19th-century Americans determine what kind of country they wanted.

What book today will inspire us, the citizens, to support a particular view on Syria or other issues? How will you use your voice, like Stowe, to have your opinions heard and to change the views of others? 

When Harriet Beecher Stowe met Abraham Lincoln on December 2, 1862, he allegedly greeted her by saying "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war." The above statue is at the Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk in Hartford

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