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Guest of honor : Booker T. Washington,…
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Guest of honor : Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White…

by Deborah Davis

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Great read the story came to light after a comment from Senator John McCain concession speech to President Barack Obama. ( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
This book is excellent! It is not just about the dinner in the White House where President Theodore Roosevelt had the audacity of hosting a black man, Booker T. Washington. This book is a double biography of these two famous men with the assassination of President McKinley included, for obvious reasons. If you are at all interested in US history, you should read this. It is hard for us to imagine the uproar it caused but it was a different country that soon after the Civil War. Booker T's visit with Queen victoria didn't cause any stir. There were several parallels between the lives of the two great men. I learned many interesting tidbits, including that Roosevelt didn't like being called Teddy, preferring TR. Also, I found out that W.E.B. Dubois was not a Booker T. Washington fan. I enjoyed the author's style and the information she gave me about this little known dinner as well as many other aspects of that period of US history. I'm tossing this one on my favorites shelf! ( )
  jwood652 | Oct 21, 2015 |
This book is excellent! It is not just about the dinner in the White House where President Theodore Roosevelt had the audacity of hosting a black man, Booker T. Washington. This book is a double biography of these two famous men with the assassination of President McKinley included, for obvious reasons. If you are at all interested in US history, you should read this. It is hard for us to imagine the uproar it caused but it was a different country that soon after the Civil War. Booker T's visit with Queen victoria didn't cause any stir. There were several parallels between the lives of the two great men. I learned many interesting tidbits, including that Roosevelt didn't like being called Teddy, preferring TR. Also, I found out that W.E.B. Dubois was not a Booker T. Washington fan. I enjoyed the author's style and the information she gave me about this little known dinner as well as many other aspects of that period of US history. I'm tossing this one on my favorites shelf! ( )
  jwood652 | Oct 21, 2015 |
I tried. I heard about this on NPR ages ago and thought it sounded great. I was listening to the audio book. I made it about half way through but honestly, I had to force myself to listen and had to keep rewinding to follow. it just didn't keep my attention at all. ( )
  morandia | Aug 1, 2014 |
Is it possible for a simple family dinner to change history? That’s exactly what happened in 1901 when President Theodore Roosevelt, also known as TR, invited Booker T. Washington to dine with the First Family. TR had a habit of combining business and dining, and he was the first president to do so. When he found himself pressed for time, TR simply did what he always did; he invited Booker T. to dinner.

While the dinner itself was quite unremarkable, the president had set a precedent. It was the first time an African American had been invited to dine at the White House. The negative press that followed triggered a political firestorm that would impact both men for decades.

The Bottom Line: This quick read features a little known event in American history. Told in short chapters, readers of biographies will enjoy the comparison between the two men. One was born into privilege while the other was born into slavery; yet, their lives mirrored one another. Together they formed a political alliance that would benefit each.

Guest of Honor is a fascinating look back at a time when slavery had ended, but social slavery persisted. Recommended for history buffs and those interested in race relations. This book includes several pages of black and white photographs and illustrations.

For the complete review, including Book Club Notes, please visit the Mini Book Bytes Book Review Blog. ( )
  aya.herron | Feb 26, 2014 |
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Epigraph
A dinner invitation to the White House, it is said, is like a command. Etiquette rules that it cannot be declined.

--Gilson Willets,

Inside History of the White House
Dedication
For my husband, Mark Urman
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Can a dinner change history? (Introduction)
Hale's Ford, Virginia, was "about as near to nowhere as any locality gets to be."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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 with the First Family. The next morning, news that the president had dined with a black man—and former slave—sent shockwaves through the nation. Although African-Americans had helped build the White House and had worked for most of the presidents, not a single one had ever been invited to dine there. Fueled by inflammatory newspaper articles, political cartoons, and even vulgar songs, the scandal escalated and threatened to topple two of America’s greatest men.

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 are found to connect in unexpected ways. 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.

[retrieved from Amazon 5/31/12]
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Documents the 1901 White House dinner shared by former slave Booker T. Washington and President Theodore Roosevelt, documenting the ensuing scandal and the ways in which the event reflected post-Civil War politics and race relations.

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Tantor Media

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