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Johnson, Charles

258 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 068481224X / ISBN 13: 9780684812243
Published by Scribner, New York, 1998
From Warwick Books, member IOBA (South Pasadena, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Hardcover with dustjacket. 8vo. First edition. Book and jacket are as new. A perfect copy; appears unread. Not price-clipped. 236 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 12663

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dreamer

Publisher: Scribner, New York

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


This first work of fiction to explore the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., follows Matthew Bishop, a devoted follower of the civil rights leader, as he trains Chaym Smith, whose startling resemblance to King earns him the job of official stand-in. 125,000 first printing. Tour.


At the center of National Book Award winner Charles Johnson's novel Dreamer are three remarkable men: Martin Luther King Jr.; his aide, Matthew Bishop, an African American philosophy student; and Chaym Smith, a man who is a dead ringer for the civil rights leader. Not only does Smith resemble King, but he also shares his intellectual voracity, widely read in both Eastern and Western philosophy, proficient in Sanskrit and martial arts, and a talented painter. But where King is deeply spiritual, Smith is a cynic; where King has the full force of his strong beliefs and his strong family heritage, Smith has nothing but a lifetime of misfortune to shape his attitudes. When he offers to become King's stand-in, Johnson creates an ideal situation in which to explore issues long at the heart of the "race issue" in America: the inequality between black and white, even between black and black.

As the novel moves forward in time toward that fateful day in Memphis, Johnson concentrates on the relationship between Bishop--the narrator--and Smith, a man who, with better luck, might have been as great as King. Periodically, the author also lets us in on King's own meditations on his life and faith, and the movement to which he has given them. All in all, Dreamer is the kind of novel Charles Johnson does so well: a book about a big subject, chock full of ideas and populated by characters articulate enough to argue them.

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Warwick Books, is an Internet-only bookseller that specializes in hard-to-find books for avid readers and collectors. Many of our books are out of print. Specialties include literature, signed firsts, art and photography, design, illustrated books, cookbooks, field guides, children's books, needlecraft books, and Americana. We recently acquired a large private collection of books on military history. The focus is on World War II as well as aviation history. Warwick Books is a member of IOBA, the Independent Online Booksellers Association.

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We accept personal checks, money orders, Paypal, and credit card payments through ABE's secure ABE Commerce arrangement. California residents add 9.5 percent sales tax. Please e-mail or phone to confirm availability of books before sending payment. We can be reached at Warwick Books, 101 Warwick Place, South Pasadena, CA, att: Suzanne Mantell. Phone 323-683-3294; e-mail All items are guaranteed as described. We ship all books well protected in bubble wrap and boxes. Bo...

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