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Publishers WeeklyIn this well-researched and readable family history, Scott (Degrees of Freedom) and Hébrard (Assumed Identities) recount the remarkable story of the Tinchants across generations and continents. As people of color, the Tinchants struggled, survived, and flourished-in Senegal, Cuba, New Orleans, Antwerp, and Paris; and through the Haitian Revolution, French Revolution of 1848, the Civil War and Reconstruction in the U.S., and WWII in Europe. While the particularity of this story adds to the intrigue, the authors' impulse to write about the family is not entirely clear, though extensive citation of various documents-including speeches, personal letters, and even a baptismal record-show that Scott and Hébrard have invested an enormous amount of time and effort into telling their tale. Navigating the turbulent political and social waters of their various contexts, members of the Tinchant family often found themselves in "delicate positions," as in Joseph's attempt to sustain amiable contacts with the white customers of his retail store in New Orleans at the height of the Civil War. Throughout, the "family emerges as one with a tenacious commitment to claiming dignity and respect." Scott and Hébrard's rendering of the Tinchant family's story is historically enlightening and inspiring. Map and family tree.
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