The Senator and the Socialite

The True Story of America's First Black Dynasty

by Lawrence Otis Graham

On Sale: 07/03/2007

The Senator and the Socialite

The True Story of America's First Black Dynasty

by Lawrence Otis Graham

On Sale: 07/03/2007

Format:

About the Book

“A cohesive picture of an extraordinary figure. . . . The issues raised by Bruce’s life and career resonate today, making Graham’s book not just a history but a revealing commentary on race and class, and on their inordinately powerful force in shaping our lives today.”—Chicago Tribune

Spanning more than a century, Lawrence Otis’s illuminating biography is a fascinating look at race and class in America, witnessed through the life of Blanche Kelso Bruce—the head of America’s first black dynasty and the first black U.S. senator. Otis reveals how Bruce rose from slavery to achieve power and prestige in the aftermath of the Civil War. With his wife, the daughter of a prominent Philadelphia physician, he would break social and racial barriers—a legacy continued by their children until scandal destroyed the family’s wealth and stature. Filled with triumph and tragedy, Otis’s riveting book brings into focus an important yet little-known segment of our nation’s past.

Critical Praise

“Graham’s research is impressive and comprehensive.…this compelling story shows how the American Dream can transmute into the American nightmare.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Informative…many striking tales. Mr. Graham is right to want to bring the story to a reading public.” — Wall Street Journal

“Graham’s fluid prose paints an absorbing picture.” — Roll Call

“THE SENATOR AND THE SOCIALITE offers a compelling portrait of the Bruce family’s rise, dynamics and downfall…A poignant tale of struggle, accomplishment…and an illuminating account of American racism.” — Washington Post

“A rare, detailed glimpse into politics, race, and class in post-Reconstruction America.” — U.S. News & World Report

“Few authors or journalists probe with more specificity and irony the dynamic of race and class than Lawrence Otis Graham....An entertaining, intriguing and sometimes amazing story of personal mobility and ambition. Provides thorough and solid historical detail, political analysis and cultural discussion. Without diluting the prose, downplaying the negatives or weakening the story, Graham presents a vital, previously underreported tale of glory, achievement and eventual disappointment.” — Book Alert

“Graham paints a compelling portrait of the important role Bruce played in the country’s history.” — Chicago Sun-Times

“Graham...recovers the history of a family that broke barriers in Washington and at Exeter and Harvard. At the same time, he offers a devastating view of the compromises it made. — The New Yorker

“A compelling portrait of the Bruce family’s rise, dynamics and downfall…A poignant tale of struggle, accomplishment…and an illuminating account of American racism.” — Washington Post

“A cohesive picture of an extraordinary figure…The issues raised by Bruce’s life and career resonate today, making Graham’s book not just a history but a revealing commentary on race and class, and on their inordinately powerful force in shaping our lives today.” — Chicago Tribune

“This book opens the door to a rich, though frustrating, period in the country’s past.” — New York Post

“Graham draws on his expertise to chronicle the astonishing rise of Blanche Bruce, the first black man to serve in the U.S. Senate...Graham cogently explains the treacherous post-Civil War political situation...Graham’s real strength is his intricate delineation of class, color, culture and social climbing.” — USA Today

“Graham details the political machinations of the post-Reconstruction South and one man’s attempt to build and maintain a dynasty.” — Booklist

“There is an intensity in Graham’s use of language and the inherent family drama that gives the narrative a novelistic tone. Graham is a superb storyteller, and the Bruce dynasty perfect fodder for this gifted writer.” — Amsterdam News

“Graham digs deep and unearths secrets in…his absorbing book on money, class and color issues.” — Essence

“In another piece of powerful nonfiction, Lawrence Otis Graham returns to the shelves with The Senator and The Socialite.” — Ebony

“This account of a black family is a rags to riches to welfare tale that ought to intrigue.” — Publishers Weekly

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Resources

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780060985134
  • ISBN 10: 0060985135
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 07/03/2007
  • Pages: 512
  • List Price:19.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : HISTORY / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
  • BISAC2 : HISTORY / United States / 19th Century
  • BISAC3 : HISTORY / Americas (North, Central, South, West Indies)
  • BISAC4 : HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
  • BISAC5 : HISTORY / United States / 21st Century
  • BISAC6 : HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
  • BISAC7 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical
  • BISAC8 : HISTORY / World
  • BISAC9 : HISTORY / African American
  • BISAC10 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Presidents & Heads of State

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