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From the Publisher
In this revealing social history, one remarkable White House dinner
becomes a lens through which to examine race, politics, and the
lives and legacies of two of America's most iconic figures.
In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington
to have dinner at the executive mansion with the First Family. The
next morning, news that the president had dined with a black man
sent shock waves through the nation. Fueled by inflammatory
newspaper articles, political cartoons, and even vulgar songs, the
scandal escalated and threatened to topple two of America's
In this smart, accessible narrative, one seemingly ordinary dinner
becomes a window onto post-Civil War American history and politics,
and onto the lives of two dynamic men whose experiences and
philosophies connect in unexpected ways. Deborah Davis also
introduces dozens of other fascinating figures who have previously
occupied the margins and footnotes of history, creating a lively
and vastly entertaining book that reconfirms her place as one of
our most talented popular historians.