Thursday, October 29, 2015

What is Shane White reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Shane White, author of Prince of Darkness: The Untold Story of Jeremiah G. Hamilton, Wall Street's First Black Millionaire.

His entry begins:
To tell the truth, leaving aside reading specifically related to my work, much of my “reading” is actually “listening.” Most days of the week, I spent 80-90 minutes walking around the shore of Sydney Harbor. Initially, as I walked, I used to write in my head, but I found that I’d write, or work, for 15 minutes and then drift off into dreams of how the New York Times would review my next book or what I would do if I won the lottery (a particularly futile exercise as I don’t buy tickets). Audible books transformed this part of my day. The first book I listened to, three or four years ago now, was Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. I’d never read it, but listening to it being read spoken was wonderful. Even though it bucketed down with rain for several days, I was...[read on]
About Prince of Darkness, from the publisher:
In the middle decades of the nineteenth century Jeremiah G. Hamilton was a well-known figure on Wall Street. Cornelius Vanderbilt, America's first tycoon, came to respect, grudgingly, his one-time opponent. The day after Vanderbilt's death on January 4, 1877, an almost full-page obituary on the front of the National Republican acknowledged that, in the context of his Wall Street share transactions, "There was only one man who ever fought the Commodore to the end, and that was Jeremiah Hamilton."

What Vanderbilt's obituary failed to mention, perhaps as contemporaries already knew it well, was that Hamilton was African American. Hamilton, although his origins were lowly, possibly slave, was reportedly the richest colored man in the United States, possessing a fortune of $2 million, or in excess of two hundred and $50 million in today's currency.

In Prince of Darkness, a groundbreaking and vivid account, eminent historian Shane White reveals the larger than life story of a man who defied every convention of his time. He wheeled and dealed in the lily white business world, he married a white woman, he bought a mansion in rural New Jersey, he owned railroad stock on trains he was not legally allowed to ride, and generally set his white contemporaries teeth on edge when he wasn't just plain outsmarting them. An important contribution to American history, Hamilton's life offers a way into considering, from the unusual perspective of a black man, subjects that are usually seen as being quintessentially white, totally segregated from the African American past.
Learn more about Prince of Darkness at the St. Martin's Press website.

My Book, The Movie: Prince of Darkness.

Writers Read: Shane White.

--Marshal Zeringue