Monday, October 1, 2012

White House Dinner

"Can a dinner change history? I believe this one did. And, like every important dinner, it begins with a host
an invitation,
 and a guest of honor."
words taken from the introduction p. 5 book Guest of Honor by Deborah Davis
And so I was drawn into this book with the main characters Booker T. Washington and Theodore Roosevelt and a time period I knew little about. This is a well researched non-fiction book that gives insight into the events leading up to a president and a black man sharing a meal at The White House that ultimately shocked the nation.
The book touches on the politics of an era as well as the difficult race relations between white and blacks after the Civil War. It was quite a revelation to me to see the parallel of lives between these two men. While each one was at the end of the social spectrum; an ex slave and white privileged they were eerily similar. 
Both admired Abraham Lincoln his contributions, guts, political savvy and skills, each embraced the philosophy of determination and self-help to get ahead in the world, they were close in age and each suffered a devastating loss with their young wives dying early in their marriages.
There were contradictions between Roosevelt and Washington but they did compliment one another and often sought each other out for advice. 
If you enjoy historical fiction then this is a book you would enjoy. It was interesting to learn more about TR (he preferred this name) and Booker T. Washington and the important contributions each made to history. 

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