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Review: Twelve Years a Slave

Twelve Years a SlaveTwelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"12 years a Slave" is truly a moving account of the arduous journey and experiences of Solomon Northup. Prior to listening to this book, I had been of the opinion that the story was a fictional one. However, published in 1853, the year of the author's extraordinary deliverance from the shackles of Slavery, the harrowing tale is indeed a truth. Reading the book across a passage of close to two centuries, the kind of perils borne by some sections of our society is perfectly stupefying, and yet still today among the remote parts of our world there are some similar instances taking place. I believe writings like "12 years a Slave" pave a way for us to face the atrocious history that a few of our ancestors have lived every day.

In having the courage to speak out about his experiences and to publish this singular account, back in mid-19th century, the author played a pivotal role in bringing afresh the horrors of the "peculiar institution" of Slavery to the general psyche. The most horrifying episode of Patsy is quite sufficient to swell up tears in the reader. The book and Solomon Northup's story, of a free man from New York, kidnapped and sold to Slavery in New Orleans, Louisiana, must have had an impact towards the American Civil War on Human Rights (1861-1865) and Lincoln's Abolishment of Slavery efforts in the ensuing decade of 1860s.

Solomon Northup story is important not only as one of its kind of historical account, but also as a resource giving insight on what it means to a Human. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the history of Human cultures and its shortcomings. The Audible book narration by Hugh is phenomenal and brings out the tale candidly.


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