… and kick-started the Civil War. Adam Goodheart on why Uncle Tom's Cabin still matters:
[M]uch of the book's original appeal had to do with how Stowe blended together many disparate ingredients of antebellum culture, creating a confection perfectly flavored to tickle Victorian palates. Angelic women, adorable children, snug little houses, mawkish religiosity—all were part of the mix. … If Uncle Tom's Cabin has lost its edge, and even seems anodyne to some readers today, this may actually be a measure of its success. In the heat of civil-rights battles, ordinary gestures—riding a bus, going to school, strolling hand-in-hand with a loved one—can become revolutionary. With victory achieved, these things become banal once more. And that, perhaps, was the entire point.