The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo (Pulitzer Prize for Biography)

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Crown/Archetype, Sep 18, 2012 - History - 432 pages
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Here is the remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo – a stunning feat of historical sleuthing that brings to life the forgotten hero who inspired such classics as†The Count of Monte Cristo†and†The Three Musketeers.

The real-life protagonist of†The Black Count, General Alex Dumas, is a man almost unknown today yet with a story that is strikingly familiar, because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used it to create some of the best loved heroes of literature.

Yet, hidden behind these swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: the real hero was the son of a black slave -- who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time.†

Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas was briefly sold into bondage but made his way to Paris where he was schooled as a sword-fighting member of the French aristocracy. Enlisting as a private, he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution, in an audacious campaign across Europe and the Middle East – until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat.

The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world’s first multi-racial society. But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.††

 

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Very interesting for good research

User Review  - southdown - Overstock.com

Gave me a good understanding of the times and the role of blacks. One negative is that I no longer feel I want to delve more into Napoleon for his role in betrayal. This is also good in context of what is happening here. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - elric17 - LibraryThing

A mite slow and tries to cover way too many events, besides the Dumas's rise and fall. However when contrasted with the son's later works, the influences from the father are evident. Interesting to see a European viewpoint on racism ans slavery. Read full review

Contents

PROLOGUE PART I February 26 I806
1
PROLOGUE PART 2 January 25 2007
11
The Sugar Factory
23
The Black Codc
34
Norman Conquest
47
No One Is a Slave in France
58
Americans in Paris
71
Black Count in the City of Light
80
CHAPTER I5 The Black Devil
207
CHAPTER I6 Leader ofthe Expedition
238
CHAPTER I8 Dreamson Fire
255
CHAPTER I9 Prisoner ofthe Holy Faith Army
264
Citizeness Dumas ls V0rried
281
CHAPTER 2 The Dungeon
290
Wait and Hope
304
EPILOGUE The Forgotten Statue
324

A Queens Dragoon
89
Summers ofRev0lution
107
Regeneration by Blood
121
CHAPTER IO The Black Heart Also Beats for Liberty
160
CHAPTER I3 The Bottom ofthe Revolution
189
Acknowledgments
331
Authors Note on Names
339
Bibliography
387
Index
405
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About the author (2012)

TOM REISS is the author of the celebrated international bestseller The Orientalist.†† His biographical pieces have appeared The New Yorker, The New York Times and other publications.† He makes his home in New York City.

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