Safa ShahidAP US History13 January 2018SUMMARY: For my 2nd quarter critical book review for AP US History, I chose to read 12 Years a Slave written by Solomon Northup. Solomon Northup was born and raised in New York as a freeman. Northup lived the American dream as did any free black and white American in the North. In upstate New York, he resided in a house with his wife and two beautiful kids who were always loving towards him. With a blink of an eye, he was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into the cruel world of slavery in the south by two con men.
PURPOSE:In the beginning of the book, Northup states, “”My object is, to give a candid and truthful statement of facts: to repeat the story of my life, without exaggeration, leaving it for others to determine, whether even the pages of fiction present a picture of more cruel wrong or severer bondage” (Northup 1). Northup states his purpose for writing 12 Years a Slave and it is to announce and inform the American public such as the rich, the poor, the working class, the officials, and the slaves themselves about the harsh daily lives of most of the slaves. Northup allows the readers to be the judge of whether it was a harsh or reasonable account and also allows them to decide whether they believe his experience. Northup presents new information to the North about slavery because most people who live up their believe the myth of the happy slave. This book works well against this myth bringing Northerners to realization of how unjust the system of slavery really is by reading the experience of a first-hand slave instead of hearing rumors and stories from others. AUTHOR’S RESEARCH:12 Years a Slave is a real-life story of a freeman going through the cruelty of slavery for twelve continuous years.
This book is considered as a primary source because it is memoir and autobiography based on his experience as a slave in the South. With his close attention to detail, being an educated black from the North, and having personally experienced the positive and negative treatments of slavery, he establishes his credibility towards the audience as the narrative continues to make it’s point.COHERENCE:Overall, 12 Years a Slave is a coherent book with enough detail to make himself and his story credible.