Passing strange: a Gilded Age tale of love and deception across the color line

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Clarence King is a hero of nineteenth-century western history. Brilliant scientist and witty conversationalist, bestselling author and architect of the great surveys that mapped the West after the Civil War, King was named by John Hay "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 King, only on his deathbed. Martha A. Sandweiss, a noted historian of the American West, is the first writer to uncover the life that King tried so hard to conceal from the public eye. She reveals the complexity of a man who while publicly espousing a personal dream of a uniquely American "race," an amalgam of white and black, hid his love for his wife and their five biracial children. Passing Strange tells the dramatic tale of a family built along the fault lines of celebrity, class, and race-from the "Todd's" wedding in 1888 to the 1964 death of Ada, one of the last surviving Americans born into slavery, and finally to the legacy inherited by Clarence King's granddaughter, who married a white man and adopted a white child in order to spare her family the legacies of racism. A remarkable feat of research and reporting spanning the Civil War to the civil rights era, Passing Strange tells a uniquely American story of self-invention, love, deception, and race.
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ISBN:
9781594202001
9781400191512
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Grouped Work ID 68b1d420-0c0d-8e1a-148b-d55d65a063b7
full_title passing strange a gilded age tale of love and deception across the color line
author sandweiss martha a
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-10-18 04:52:51AM

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accelerated_reader_point_value 0
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auth_author2 Raver, Lorna.
author Martha A. Sandweiss
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display_description "Passing Strange" is a uniquely American biography of Clarence King, who hid a secret from his Gilded Age cohorts and prominent family: for 13 years he lived a double life--as the celebrated white explorer, geologist, and writer King and as a black Pullman porter and steelworker named James Todd. Clarence King is a hero of nineteenth-century western history. Brilliant scientist and witty conversationalist, bestselling author and architect of the great surveys that mapped the West after the Civil War, King hid a secret from his Gilded Age cohorts and prominent Newport family: for thirteen years he lived a double life--as the celebrated white Clarence King and as a black Pullman porter and steelworker. Unable to marry the black woman he loved, the fair-haired, blue-eyed King passed as a Negro, revealing his secret to his wife Ada only on his deathbed. Historian Martha Sandweiss is the first writer to uncover the life that King tried so hard to conceal. She reveals the complexity of a man who, while publicly espousing a personal dream of a uniquely American amalgam of white and black, hid his love for his wife and their five biracial children.--From publisher description.
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subject_facet African American women -- Biography, African Americans -- Race identity -- Case studies, Deception -- United States -- Case studies, King, Ada, -- 1860-1964, King, Clarence, -- 1842-1901, King, Clarence, -- 1842-1901 -- Marriage, Married people -- United States -- Case studies, New York (N.Y.) -- Biography, Passing (Identity) -- United States -- Case studies, United States -- Race relations -- History -- 19th century
title_display Passing strange : a Gilded Age tale of love and deception across the color line
title_full Passing Strange A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line, Passing strange : a Gilded Age tale of love and deception across the color line / Martha A. Sandweiss, Passing strange [electronic resource] : a Gilded Age tale of love and deception across the color line / Martha A. Sandweiss
title_short Passing strange :
title_sub a Gilded Age tale of love and deception across the color line
topic_facet History, Nonfiction