Customer Reviews for

Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Great Read!!

    Excellent book. The book has information that I have not read anywhere before. Easy flow and great narrative.

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  • Posted July 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Invidious

    "Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation" by Deborah Davis deals with respect and friendship that result when the status quo of social conscience is ignored. In a time when racism dictated behavior and set the parameters of social norms, Theodore Roosevelt dared to extend an invitation to Booker T. Washington out of expedience which resulted in both men having to pay a cost that neither could afford nor fail to afford. Simply, another conundrum that comes with public life and the inability to be everything to everybody.

    "Guest of Honor" is a good historical review. Provocative parallelism of the lives and roles of two very different men impacted by the driving forces of time viewed from their unique perspectives resulting in profound leadership of each. This book includes enough historical documentation to make it believable infused with enough supposition to make it read as a novel rather than a chronology.

    Of note, it was Booker T. Washington (1899), as well as many others before and since him that hoped for a black man as president, but who can count the number of men that dreamed of equality in this land. Racism is alive and well in America. Adaption has made it subtly useful, yet covert.

    Reviewed by: Gail

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    "Guest of Honor" is tragic, funny, and inspirational. A very well written journey back in time that will cause the reader to compare then with now. Historic names, places, and events unexpectedly jump out causing the reader to research independent sources. Most chapters are shot and flow well from one to another making the book a relaxing, enjoyable read. Kenneth L. Barker

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  • Posted May 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Much More Than A Dinner

    Guest of Honor: Booker T. Wash­ing­ton, Theodore Roo­sevelt, and the White House Din­ner That Shocked a Nation by Deb­o­rah Davis is a non-fiction book which tells of the events lead­ing and result­ing of a sim­ple din­ner in which Pres­i­dent Theodore Roo­sevelt dined with Book T. Washington.

    In 1901 the coun­try woke up to a shock, the pre­vi­ous day 16 October, President Theodore Roo­sevelt invited Booker T. Wash­ing­ton to have din­ner at the exec­u­tive man­sion (known today as the White House) with the First Fam­ily. Not only black, but a for­mer slave, the invi­ta­tion cre­ated fod­der for news papers, vile car­toons and vul­gar songs.

    While Guest of Honor: Booker T. Wash­ing­ton, Theodore Roo­sevelt, and the White House Din­ner That Shocked a Nation by Deb­o­rah Davis seems to be only about a din­ner, it is actu­ally much more. This well researched book touches on pol­i­tics of the era as well as the frag­ile and dif­fi­cult race rela­tions after the Amer­i­can Civil War.

    The book exten­sively goes into the events that shaped the break­through meal, start­ing with the end of the Civil War and short biogra­phies of the two main play­ers. It was strik­ing to see how par­al­lel the lives of two men, each at one end of the social spec­trum (an ex slave and a priv­i­leged white) were eerily sim­i­lar. Both men, close at age, got
    mar­ried at approx­i­mately the same time, had kids at around the same time and suf­fer dev­as­tat­ing losses.

    This is well writ­ten, well researched and easy to read his­tory. While the book cap­tures a moment in his­tory, most of the nar­ra­tive con­cen­trates on the events before it and why such a ges­ture cre­ated a huge splash. The con­tra­dic­tions between the impul­sive Roo­sevelt and the cau­tious Wash­ing­ton are high­lighted, but also how they
    com­pli­mented each other and why they needed one another.

    Abra­ham Lin­coln, America’s 16th Pres­i­dent, is always in the back­ground of this book. Both men admired Mr. Lin­coln, his con­tri­bu­tions, guts, political savvy and skill. While Mr. Lin­coln is not in this book, as a per­son, his shadow is on almost every page. One of the amaz­ing things I learned from this book, is that Roo­sevelt used Wash­ing­ton as a polit­i­cal advi­sor, not by name but by actions. The two men cor­re­sponded lengthily and the Pres­i­dent imple­mented the advice Mr. Wash­ing­ton gave him about polit­i­cal appoint­ments and the such.

    The din­ner on Octo­ber 16, 1901 went smoothly, Mr. Wash­ing­ton came in the evening and the whole his­tor­i­cal event almost went unno­ticed. Once word was out, the South has erupted in intel­lec­tual and phys­i­cal vio­lence. A line has been crossed as the impli­ca­tion of an invi­ta­tion to din­ner had much more mean­ing than today’s. Not only did whites admon&#17

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

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    Posted March 30, 2014

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    Posted March 1, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

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