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The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

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The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo Cover

ISBN13: 9780307382474
ISBN10: 0307382478
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $10.95!

 

Awards

2013 Pulitzer Prize for Biography

Staff Pick

The Black Count is the story of Alex Dumas, the father of Alexandre Dumas and inspiration for some of the best adventure fiction ever written. Alex Dumas's life is stranger than fiction in a time when hope for the common man, equality, and emancipation are vying to be the ideals of a revolution.
Recommended by Desiree, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

“Tom Reiss wrings plenty of drama and swashbuckling action out of Dumas’ strange and nearly forgotten life, and more: The Black Count is one of those quintessentially human stories of strength and courage that also sheds light on the flukey historical moment that made it possible.” Time

Review:

“A remarkable and almost compulsively researched account…The author spent a decade on the case, and it shows.” Christian Science Monitor

Review:

“Fascinating…a richly imaginative biography.” New York Times Book Review

Review:

"It would take an incredibly fertile mind to invent a character as compelling, exciting and unlikely as Gen. Alexandre (Alex) Dumas [hence] you might forget, while reading, that The Black Count is a work of nonfiction; author Tom Reiss writes with such narrative urgency and vivid description, you'd think you were reading a novel….The Black Count reminds us of how essential stories, whether true or invented, can be.” National Public Radio

Review:

“Vibrant….Sometimes the best stories are true. This is one of them.” Ebony

Review:

“Reiss details the criminal forgetting of Alex Dumas….This remarkable book stands as his monument.” Washington Post

Review:

“Superb...as improbable and exciting as [Dumas’s] best books… but there is much more to this book than that.” Newsweek/The Daily Beast

Review:

“Lush prose and insightful details make The Black Count one of the best biographies of 2012…a tale that is as easily engrossing as one of Dumas’ page-turning and timeless works.” Essence

Review:

“Impressively thorough….Reiss moves the story on at an entertaining pace…fascinating.” Wall Street Journal

Review:

“To tell this tale, Reiss must cover the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, and the rise of Napoleon toward Empire; he does all that with remarkable verve.” Boston Globe

Review:

“Fascinating [and] swashbuckling...meticulously evokes the spirit of Revolutionary and Napoleonic France....Dumas comes across as something of a superhero...a monument to the lives of both Dumas and his adoring [novelist] son.” The Seattle Times

Review:

“A thoroughly researched, lively piece of nonfiction that will be savored by fans of Alexandre Dumas. But The Black Count needs no partner: It is fascinating enough to stand on its own.” Bookpage

Review:

“A compelling new work by literary detective Reiss, author of The Orientalist, tracks the wildly improbable career of [Count of Monte Cristo author] Alexandre Dumas’ mixed-race father....Reiss eloquently argues the General’s case.” Kirkus Reviews

Review:

“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….Reiss capitalizes on his subject’s charged personality as well as the revolutionary times in which he lived to create an exciting narrative.” Publishers Weekly

Review:

“Thrilling…Reiss makes clear that Alex lived a life as full of adventure, triumph, and tragic loss as any of his son’s literary creations….This absorbing biography should redeem its subject from obscurity.” Booklist

Synopsis:

SLAVE. SOLDIER. LIBERATOR. HERO.

General Alex Dumas, is a man almost unknown today, yet his story is strikingly familiar — because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used his larger-than-life feats as inspiration for such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

But, hidden behind General Dumas's swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: he 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 made his way to Paris, where he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution — until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat.

TIME magazine called The Black Count "one of those quintessentially human stories of strength and courage that sheds light on the historical moment that made it possible." It is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.

About the Author

Tom Reiss is the author of the celebrated international bestseller The Orientalist. His biographical pieces have appeared The New Yorker, The New York Times and other publications. He makes his home in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Scot Nakagawa, September 24, 2013 (view all comments by Scot Nakagawa)
The Black Count is one of those biographies that brings together all that is best about the genre - a compelling character more complex and fascinating than most that live only in fiction, a gripping tale told through recounting a life once actually lived, and historical accuracy and detail that teach us something, not just about the person at the center of the story, but about the time and place in which (s)he lived. I truly loved this book. In fact, I found it every bit as enjoyable as my first read of The Count of Monte Cristo, the fictional story inspired by the life of the Black Count written by his son, Alexandre Dumas. If I could have stayed up all night, I would have read it cover to cover in one sitting.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307382474
Author:
Reiss, Tom
Publisher:
Broadway
Subject:
Europe - Western
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Glory, Revolution, B
Publication Date:
20130514
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
6 MAPS AND 1 INSET MAP
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
7.9 x 5.1 x 1.1 in 0.8563 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Historical
Biography » Military
Featured Titles » Biography
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Europe » France » 18th Century and Revolutionary
History and Social Science » Politics » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » France » General

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Broadway - English 9780307382474 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The Black Count is the story of Alex Dumas, the father of Alexandre Dumas and inspiration for some of the best adventure fiction ever written. Alex Dumas's life is stranger than fiction in a time when hope for the common man, equality, and emancipation are vying to be the ideals of a revolution.

"Review" by , “Tom Reiss wrings plenty of drama and swashbuckling action out of Dumas’ strange and nearly forgotten life, and more: The Black Count is one of those quintessentially human stories of strength and courage that also sheds light on the flukey historical moment that made it possible.”
"Review" by , “A remarkable and almost compulsively researched account…The author spent a decade on the case, and it shows.”
"Review" by , “Fascinating…a richly imaginative biography.”
"Review" by , "It would take an incredibly fertile mind to invent a character as compelling, exciting and unlikely as Gen. Alexandre (Alex) Dumas [hence] you might forget, while reading, that The Black Count is a work of nonfiction; author Tom Reiss writes with such narrative urgency and vivid description, you'd think you were reading a novel….The Black Count reminds us of how essential stories, whether true or invented, can be.”
"Review" by , “Vibrant….Sometimes the best stories are true. This is one of them.”
"Review" by , “Reiss details the criminal forgetting of Alex Dumas….This remarkable book stands as his monument.”
"Review" by , “Superb...as improbable and exciting as [Dumas’s] best books… but there is much more to this book than that.”
"Review" by , “Lush prose and insightful details make The Black Count one of the best biographies of 2012…a tale that is as easily engrossing as one of Dumas’ page-turning and timeless works.”
"Review" by , “Impressively thorough….Reiss moves the story on at an entertaining pace…fascinating.”
"Review" by , “To tell this tale, Reiss must cover the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, and the rise of Napoleon toward Empire; he does all that with remarkable verve.”
"Review" by , “Fascinating [and] swashbuckling...meticulously evokes the spirit of Revolutionary and Napoleonic France....Dumas comes across as something of a superhero...a monument to the lives of both Dumas and his adoring [novelist] son.”
"Review" by , “A thoroughly researched, lively piece of nonfiction that will be savored by fans of Alexandre Dumas. But The Black Count needs no partner: It is fascinating enough to stand on its own.”
"Review" by , “A compelling new work by literary detective Reiss, author of The Orientalist, tracks the wildly improbable career of [Count of Monte Cristo author] Alexandre Dumas’ mixed-race father....Reiss eloquently argues the General’s case.” Kirkus Reviews
"Review" by , “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….Reiss capitalizes on his subject’s charged personality as well as the revolutionary times in which he lived to create an exciting narrative.”
"Review" by , “Thrilling…Reiss makes clear that Alex lived a life as full of adventure, triumph, and tragic loss as any of his son’s literary creations….This absorbing biography should redeem its subject from obscurity.”
"Synopsis" by , SLAVE. SOLDIER. LIBERATOR. HERO.

General Alex Dumas, is a man almost unknown today, yet his story is strikingly familiar — because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used his larger-than-life feats as inspiration for such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

But, hidden behind General Dumas's swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: he 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 made his way to Paris, where he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution — until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat.

TIME magazine called The Black Count "one of those quintessentially human stories of strength and courage that sheds light on the historical moment that made it possible." It is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.

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