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One of the most significant historical novels in American literature, this book is based on the Wilmington, North Carolina Massacre of 1898. Called a "race riot" by the inflammatory Southern press and engineered by white Democrats who had seen their political control slip into the hands of Republicans, many of whom were black, it was in fact a coup that restored power to the Democrats by subverting the principles of free democratic election. Some of Charles Chesnutt's relatives lived through the violence, and their accounts inspired this powerful and passionate novel.
This novel is based on a historically accurate account of the Wilmington, North Carolina, "race riot" of 1898, and is a passionate portrait of the betrayal of black culture in America, by an acclaimed African-American writer.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
"Chesnutt was tremendously explicit in representing the violence and his own anger. Today it reads as one of the more enduring novels of the era." Richard Yarborough, UCLA