Synopses & Reviews
Paul Jennings was born into slavery on the plantation of James and Dolley Madison in Virginia, later becoming part of the Madison household staff at the White House. Once finally emancipated by Senator Daniel Webster later in life, he would give an aged and impoverished Dolley Madison, his former owner, money from his own pocket, write the first White House memoir, and see his sons fight with the Union Army in the Civil War.
Based on correspondence, legal documents, and journal entries rarely seen before, this amazing portrait reveals the mores and attitudes toward slavery in the nineteenth century, and sheds new light on famous characters such as James Madison, French General Lafayette, Dolley Madison, and many other long-forgotten slaves, abolitionists, and civil rights activists.
“A revealing study . . . Taylor paints a fascinating portrait of slavery, hypocrisy, and one mans quiet struggle to overcome its injustices.”
—Publishers Weekly The Christian Science Monitor
“An important story of human struggle, determination, and triumph.”
—Kirkus Reviews Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Throws fascinating light on both the struggles of a black man in 19th-century America and life in the early years of the young American republic.”
—The Christian Science Monitor Booklist
“You might think you know our nations past, but this book may surprise you. If youre up for a great historical biography, in fact, A Slave in the White House will surely keep you in your seat.”
—Richmond Times-Dispatch Sound Commentary
“Taylors biography is smoothly rendered in Wests clear, brisk tones as she accessibly elucidates everyday details and private scenarios in the Madison White House. Kenerlys reading is equally engaging, comprising a double does of coverage for history fans.”
“Reader Judith West narrates A Slave in the White House in a direct, straightforward manner, letting this fascinating subject take the spotlight without distraction.”
The inspiring story of Paul Jennings, a slave in President James Madisons household, and his long struggle for freedom.
About the Author
ANNETTE GORDON-REED , historian and legal scholar, has a triple appointment at Harvard University, where she is Professor at the Law School, History Department, and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. In 2009 she won the Pulitzer Prize in history for her book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. ELIZABETH DOWLING TAYLOR received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. She was Director of Interpretation at Thomas Jeffersons Monticello and Director of Education at James Madisons Montpelier. Most recently a Fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Taylor is now an independent scholar and lecturer. She lives in Barboursville, Virginia.KEVIN KENERLY is a classically trained actor, blessed with the privilege of working in two fields he loves: the theatre world and the world of audiobooks. He lives and works in picturesque Oregon with his beautiful and dearly supportive familyJUDITH WEST has amused, informed, thrilled, and otherwise entertained via stage and studio for more than 20 years. A narrator, director, and writer for audiobooks since 1999, she also coaches narrators and has taught performance and directed at leading Chicago universities, and has extensive experience in print publishing as a writer, editor, and researcher. Judith lives with her rescued cats in a vintage Chicago bungalow off Devon Avenue, the nations most ethnically diverse street. Fittingly, she counts ethnic cooking, travel, and antiques among her pleasures.