A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line
Publication Date: February 2009
Noted historian Martha A. Sandweiss tells the uniquely American story of Clarence King, a man who hid from his Gilded Age cohorts and prominent family the fact that 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.
Martha A. Sandweiss received her Ph.D. in history from Yale University and worked for many years as a museum curator and director before becoming a professor of American studies and history at Amherst College. She is the author of numerous works on western American history and the history of photography, including Print the Legend: Photography and the American West, winner of the Organization of American Historians' Ray Allen Billington Award, and Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace. Martha is also coeditor of The Oxford History of the American West. Lorna Raver has been named a Best Voice of the Year by AudioFile magazine and has been nominated for Audie Awards for her readings of Washington Square by Henry James, Nothing with Strings by Bailey White, and Marion Zimmer Bradley's Ravens of Avalon by Diana L. Paxson. She has also received numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards for her narrations. An accomplished stage actress, Lorna has also guest-starred in many top television series, and she stars in director Sam Raimi's film Drag Me to Hell.
Clarence King was a geologist, a best-selling author -- and a liar. He lived an elaborate double life, and his story -- told by Martha Sandweiss in her book, Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line -- sheds light on our complicated ideas about race. More at NPR.org
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"Ms. Sandweiss offers a fine, mesmerizing account." ---The New York Times