The Ballad of Blind Tom (Hardcover)
Overlook Duckworth, 9781590201435, 288pp.
Publication Date: February 5, 2009
Eventually freed from slavery, Wiggins, or "Blind Tom" as he was called, toured the country and the world playing for celebrities like Mark Twain and the Queen of England and dazzling audiences everywhere. One part genius and one part novelty act, Blind Tom embodied contradictions-a star and a freak, freed from slavery but still the property of his white guardian. His life offers a window into the culture of celebrity and racism at the turn of the twentieth century In this rollicking and heartrending book, O'Connell takes us through the life (and three separate deaths) of Blind Tom Wiggins, restoring to the modern reader this unusual yet quintessentially American life.