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Download Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation, by Deborah Davis Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (113 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Deborah Davis Narrator: Karen White Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 at the executive mansion with the First Family. The next morning, news that the president had dined with a black man—and former slave—sent shock waves 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 into post–Civil War American history and politics and the lives of two dynamic men whose experiences and philosophies connect in unexpected ways. Deborah 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Provide[s] a panoramic view of America at the turn of the twentieth century…Davis’ book is a marker of how far the country has come.”

    Washington Post

  • “A well-researched, highly readable treatment of an important era in racial relations, encapsulated in the meeting of two of the era’s most significant men.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “In fluid prose and with clear respect for her subject matter, Davis paints a vivid picture of race relations at the turn of the twentieth century—a story resonating with today’s fraught political and racial landscape.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Marilyn | 2/18/2014

    " A fairly dry accounting of an important slice of history, but filled with fascinating facts and little known incidents. I liked Davis's compare and contrast method with her two characters who, interestingly, had much in common. That, in itself, was a testimony to the bond between people that has no racial overtones. Washington and Roosevelt were vastly different people who had similar personal experiences that forged their lives. There were some interesting political machinations which resounded loud and clear in this particular year's presidential race -- I guess history keeps repeating itself. I was not crazy about the writing style -- but it did not keep me from enjoying this fascinating book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tim | 1/23/2014

    " Interesting review of the diner encounter between Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington - the first African American invited to dinner at the White House. TR and Booker T. are characters that become more fascinating with time, and how TR solicited Washington's views was groundbreaking. I think it says a lot about both men that they did not think the dinner invitation was such a big deal. Of course, once it became public it was debated and critiqued for years. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Cathy Doyle | 1/5/2014

    " A very clear easy to read comparison of the lives of Booker T. Washington and Theodore Roosevelt, leading up to the event in question, when Roosevelt invited Washington to dinner, making him the first African American to dine in the White House. Davis writes in an interesting manner, the book was a quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jonathan | 12/30/2013

    " Not bad, but if you are only interested in the meal, you could save yourself a lot of time by reading the chapter in Edmund Morris'Theodore Rex on the event. A vast majority of Guest of Honor is a joint biography of Roosevelt and Washington, that any minimally well-read student of the era will find too elementary to be informative. "

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About the Author

Deborah Davis is the author of several books, including Fabritius and the Goldfinch: A True Story of Art, Tragedy, and Immortality and Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation. She formerly worked as an executive, story editor, and story analyst for several major film companies.