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Praise for Thirty Years a Slave

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The re-publication of Louis Hughes' Thirty Years A Slave is a remarkable achievement. Randall Williams' introduction places this classic work in the proper context for all new readers. Riveting, powerful, this a must read for those who seek to understand contemporary America.
Thirty Years a Slave offers one of the most detailed first-hand descriptions of slavery available in the entire slave narrative tradition. In his under-appreciated autobiography, Louis Hughes accomplishes the remarkable literary feat of recording with equal conviction both the injustices of slavery and the capacities of African Americans, while enduring enslavement, to resist demoralization and victimhood.
From the moment I opened Louis Hughes' Thirty Years a Slave, I could not put it down. Every page brought surprises and revelations, giving life to America's haunted past.
In this absorbing account, first published in 1897, Hughes describes mundane yet evocative pieces of everyday life ... and astonishing events like his numerous attempts to escape bondage and his subsequent recapture. He writes with subtlety about his “masters” hypocrisy ... Reflective moments like this make the re-publication of this memoir very welcome.
The self-liberation of thousands of African-Americans held in bondage is one of the great stories in the ongoing human struggle against oppression ... Louis Hughes' narrative is one of the most informative, insightful, and hopeful accounts of how Americans of color created their own freedom in the midst of a slave society.
Hughes’s autobiography is richly filled with the details of plantation culture and slave life, from the making of clothes to a variety of religious services.
A riveting firsthand account of slavery ... a convincing historical document, pithy social commentary and enduring literary masterpiece ... Like Tolstoy, Hughes shows us specific individuals wrestling with complex moral issues during a time of profound national upheaval.