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Passing Strange A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line (Paperback)

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Passing Strange Sandweiss, Martha A. 1 of 1
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Learn more about Passing Strange:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 014311686X
ISBN-13: 9780143116868
Sku: 211824546
Publish Date: 1/26/2010
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.5H x 5.5L x 1.25T
Pages:  370
Age Range:  22 to UP
 
Traces the secret double life of a nineteenth-century scientist and surveyor of the post-Civil War American West, revealing how he was able to cross color lines and live a second life with an African-American wife and five multiracial children. *Author: Sandweiss, Martha A. *Subtitle: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line *Publication Date: 2010/01/26 *Number of Pages: 370 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 1.25 *Width: 5.50 *Height: 8.50
From the Publisher:
Traces the secret double life of a nineteenth-century scientist and surveyor of the post-Civil War American West, revealing how he was able to cross color lines and live a second life with an African-American wife and five multiracial children.
Read Martha A. Sandweiss's posts on the Penguin Blog|| The secret double life of the man who mapped the American West, and the woman he loved || Clarence King was a late nineteenth-century celebrity, a brilliant scientist and explorer once described by Secretary of State John Hay as "the best and brightest of his generation." But King hid a secret from his Gilded Age cohorts and prominent family in Newport: for thirteen years he lived a double life-the first as the prominent white geologist and writer Clarence King, and a second as the black Pullman porter and steelworker named James Todd. The fair, blue-eyed son of a wealthy China trader passed across the color line, revealing his secret to his black common-law wife, Ada Copeland, only on his deathbed. In Passing Strange, noted historian Martha A. Sandweiss tells the dramatic, distinctively American tale of a family built along the fault lines of celebrity, class, and race- a story that spans the long century from Civil War to civil rights.
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Annotation:
At the turn of the 20th century, Clarence King was a renowned scientist, a bestselling author, and the cherished son of a notable white Newport family. James Todd was a black Pullman porter, husband of 12 years to Ada Copeland, proud father to their five children. James Todd was dying, but he had a surprise for Ada before he went: he revealed to her that he was, in fact, Clarence King. Martha Sandweiss provides the details of this remarkable double life, and the struggles Ada Copeland endured to come to terms with her husband's deceit and provide her children with his rightful heritage. A finalist for the 2009 National Book Critics Circle award for biography.

Praise

"Sandweiss offers a fine, mesmerizing account of how one extremely secretive man, 'acting from a complicated mix of loyalty and self-interest, reckless desire and social conservatism,' could encapsulate his country's shifting ideas about race in the course of one family's anything but black-and-white history." - Janet Maslin 02/04/2009

"Sandweiss' sleuthing has produced a fascinating dual biography of a man who left behind lots of evidence about his life, and a woman born into slavery who left behind little." - Steve Weinberg 02/08/2009

"[T]here was another side to [Clarence] King that neither the public nor his glittering friends knew, a side that Martha A. Sandweiss explores with great sensitivity, insight and painstaking research in PASSING STRANGE." - Annette Gordon-Reed 02/22/2009

"The author's effort is well done and well worth it, and not simply because the story is compelling in itself. PASSING STRANGE is...fascinating." - Roger K. Miller 02/24/2009

"The reader has to imagine almost all of it--and as Sandweiss skillfully describes the social life of black maids, men who lived in Manhattan hotels, how people 'passed' for a different race, the work of imagination becomes easier and easier, even on such an improbable story." - Bruce Ramsey 03/12/2009

Product Attributes

Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeMinimum Age:   18
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0370
Product attributePublisher:   Penguin Books
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