Stock Image

The Senator and the Socialite: The True Story of America's First Black Dynasty

Graham, Lawrence Otis

156 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0060184124 / ISBN 13: 9780060184124
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited, Scarborough, ON, Canada, 2006
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From citynightsbooks (Allston, MA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since August 17, 2004

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 65.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: Free Within U.S.A. Destination, rates & speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

First printing. Signed on title page. The story of Blanche Kelso Bruce and his heirs. With B&W photo supplement on coated paper. Extensive Chapter Notes at end. Unread, as new in like DJ with an "Autographed" sticker to front. 456 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 7201

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Senator and the Socialite: The True ...

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited, Scarborough, ON, Canada

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title

Synopsis:

This is the true story of America's first black dynasty. The years after the Civil War represented an astonishing moment of opportunity for African-Americans. The rush to build a racially democratic society from the ruins of slavery is never more evident than in the personal history of Blanche Kelso Bruce and his heirs.

Born a slave in 1841, Bruce became a local Mississippi sheriff, developed a growing Republican power base, amassed a real-estate fortune, and became the first black to serve a full Senate term. He married Josephine Willson, the daughter of a wealthy black Philadelphia doctor. Together they broke racial barriers as a socialite couple in 1880s Washington, D.C.

By befriending President Ulysses S. Grant, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and a cadre of liberal black and white Republicans, Bruce spent six years in the U.S. Senate, then gained appointments under four presidents (Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, and McKinley), culminating with a top Treasury post, which placed his name on all U.S. currency.

During Reconstruction, the Bruce family entertained lavishly in their two Washington town houses and acquired an 800-acre plantation, homes in four states, and a fortune that allowed their son and grandchildren to attend Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University, beginning in 1896.

The Senator's legacy would continue with his son, Roscoe, who became both a protégé of Booker T. Washington and a superintendent of Washington, D.C.'s segregated schools. When the family moved to New York in the 1920s and formed an alliance with John D. Rockefeller Jr., the Bruces became an enviable force in Harlem society. Their public battle to get their grandson admitted into Harvard University's segregated dormitories elicited the support of people like W. E. B. Du Bois and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and broke brave new ground for blacks of their day.

But in the end, the Bruce dynasty's wealth and stature would disappear when the Senator's grandson landed in prison following a sensational trial and his Radcliffe-educated granddaughter married a black Hollywood actor who passed for white.

By drawing on Senate records, historic documents, and the personal letters of Senator Bruce, Josephine, their colleagues, friends, children, and grandchildren, author Lawrence Otis Graham weaves a riveting social history that spans 120 years. From Mississippi to Washington, D.C., to New York, The Senator and the Socialite provides a fascinating look into the history of race and class in America.

About the Author:

The author of fourteen books, including the New York Times bestseller Our Kind of People, and a contributing editor for Reader's Digest, Lawrence Otis Graham's work has also appeared in the New York Times, Essence, and The Best American Essays. He lives with his wife in Manhattan and Chappaqua, New York.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

citynightsbooks allows/refunds within the Abebooks' guidelines. Please refer to their policy on this matter and contact us first via e-mail or telephone.


Shipping Terms:

All books shipped with foam board or corrugated protection and bubblewrap. All
hardcovers with dust jackets shipped with archival covers. Books shipped within 48
hours via USPS, media mail or priority (specify preference). Please refer to
shipping chart for specific costs.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

PayPal