Passing Strange

passingstrange_blog

Martha A. Sandweiss is professor of history at Princeton University.  “A remarkable feat of research and reporting that covers the long century from the Civil War to civil rights, Passing Strange tells a uniquely American story of self-invention, love, deception, and race.”

Clarence King is a hero of nineteenth-century western history: a brilliant scientist and witty conversationalist, bestselling author and architect of the great surveys that mapped the West after the Civil War.  Secretary of State John Hay called King “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–as the celebrated white explorer, geologist, and writer Clarence King and as a 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.”

Advertisements

About hopeseguin

Who am I? I'm still discovering just who I am, I suppose. A. Powell Davis writes that "Life is just a chance to grow a soul."

Posted on June 11, 2009, in Books and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: