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The Black Count

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

Tom Reiss

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

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.  

Publishers Weekly Review

Jun 25, 2012 – Alex Dumas, an extraordinary man whose sensational life had been largely lost to history solely because of his race, takes the spotlight in this dynamic tale. Thanks to Reiss’s excellent research, combined with the passionate memorial his son, Alexandre Dumas, consistently built in his own novels and memoir, Dumas’s life has been brought back to light. Father to the well-known novelist and clear inspiration for The Count of Monte Cristo, as well as the adventurous spirit of The Three Musketeers and other stories, Dumas (1762–1806) rose through the ranks of the French army from a lowly private in the dragoons to become a respected general who marched into Egypt at Napoleon’s side. (The rivalry and juxtaposition between these two leaders proves fascinating.) Born in what is now Haiti to a French nobleman father and a slave mother, the biracial Dumas chanced to come of age during the French Revolution, a brief period of equality in the French empire; he was thus granted numerous opportunities that the son of a slave 20 years before him (or even 20 years later) would not have enjoyed. Reiss capitalizes on his subject’s charged personality as well as the revolutionary times in which he lived to create an exciting narrative.

Customer Reviews

Fantastic Read

What a great book from Tom Reiss! The story of Gen. Alex Dumas is finally brought to life after being shuttered away for so long and forgotten.

Reiss obviously did so much research not only into Dumas life and circumstances, but to the 18th century society in which Dumas thrived. A life and story such as this shouldn't be forgotten.

Reiss' writing style is very conversational educating the reader as to the beliefs, norms and politics of the day so one has a clear understanding of how and why Dumas life is so enthralling.

Dumas was an 18th century action hero, and a somewhat of an unconventional one. I can't see how this won't be made into a movie! It has everything; a strong leading man, love, betrayal and war. In fact it could be a story written by the General's son, the author Alexandre Dumas.

The black count

In general, a wonderfully readable account of post revolutionary France and its acceptance of racial equality, however temporary. Specifically, a richly detailed account of an honorable and proud man caught up in events that overturn his life with unethical beaurocracy. A carefully researched window into a time period most often romanticized. That his son survived and thrived, using the memories of his father to immortalize him, assuage the family honor, and in addition, make a great name for himself was a coup d'état.

The Black Count by Tom Reiss

One of the best books I have ever read .Brilliantly written , the author weaves together history, biography, and culture and takes what we in the United States call "the civil rights movement " to the international level .
Tom Reiss here exposes the white-wash of their own history by the very people who may be most responsible for the white-washing of African history as it relates to ancient Egypt . The colonial powers from outside of Africa to this day seem to cling to having a vested interest in suppressing what we are forced to call Black History .
Finally this book the reveals the fire of freedom that that once lit ,can spread fiercely across national borders
and racial lines and barriers , that can be co-opted and betrayed and yet still burn in men's hearts .
Should be required reading by any historian.

The Black Count
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Europe
  • Published: Sep 18, 2012
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 432 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings