White Lies: The Double Life of Walter F. White and America's Darkest Secret

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HarperCollins, Feb 8, 2022 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
7 Reviews
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An “electrifying” biography of Walter White, a little-remembered Black civil rights leader who passed for white in order to investigate racist murders, help put the NAACP on the map, and change the racial identity of America forever (Chicago Review of Books).

Walter F. White led two lives: one as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance and the NAACP in the early twentieth century; the other as a white newspaperman who covered lynching crimes in the Deep South at the blazing height of racial violence. Born mixed race and with very fair skin and straight hair, White was able to “pass” for white. He leveraged this ambiguity as a reporter, bringing to light the darkest crimes in America and helping to plant the seeds of the civil rights movement.

White’s risky career led him to lead a double life. He was simultaneously a second-class citizen subject to Jim Crow laws at home and a widely respected professional with full access to the white world at work. His life was fraught with internal and external conflict—much like the story of race in America. Starting out as an obscure activist, White ultimately became Black America’s most prominent leader, during his time. A character study of White’s life and career with all these complexities has never been rendered, until now.

By the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental President, Dewey Defeats Truman, and The Arsenal of Democracy, White Lies uncovers the life of a civil rights leader unlike any other.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pomo58 - LibraryThing

White Lies: The Double Life of Walter F White and America's Darkest Secret by AJ Baime is a well-researched and engaging biography that will inform, entertain, and also infuriate readers. To be sure ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nancyadair - LibraryThing

I was in tears. After thirty years of working to end lynching and system racism, battling white supremacy, Walter F. White finally reached a president who had the courage to change Federal laws ... Read full review


Title Page Introduction
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 8
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 21
Chapter 17
Chapter 19
Chapter 30
Chapter 20
Photo Section
About the Author

Chapter 15

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About the author (2022)

A.J. Baime is the New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World (2017), The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War (2014), Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans (2009), and Dewey Defeats Truman: The 1948 Election and the Battle for America's Soul (2019). Baime is a longtime regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and his articles have also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and numerous other publications.

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