The Black Count

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

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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 more

Product details

  • Hardback | 414 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 40.64mm | 771.1g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 030738246X
  • 9780307382467
  • 218,893

Review quote

"A remarkable and almost compulsively researched account...The author spent a decade on the case, and it shows." --Christian Science Monitor "Fascinating...a richly imaginative biography." --New York Times Book Review "Vibrant...Sometimes the best stories are true. This is one of them." --Ebony "Reiss details the criminal forgetting of Alex Dumas...This remarkable book stands as his monument." --Washington Post "Superb... as improbable and exciting as [Dumas's] best books... but there is much more to this book than that." -Newsweek/The Daily Beast "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 "Impressively thorough...Reiss moves the story on at an entertaining pace...fascinating." --Wall Street Journal "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 "Fascinating [and] swashbuckling...meticulously evokes the spirit of Revolutionary and Napoleonic France...Dumas comes across as something of a superhero...a monument tothe lives of both Dumas and his adoring [novelist] son." --The Seattle Times "A piece of detective work by a prize-winning author...brilliantly researched." --The Daily Mail (U.K.) "Sometimes real life does, indeed, trump even the wildest of fiction...With a narrative that is engaging and entertaining, Reiss sets the literary table for one of the most satisfying adventure stories of the autumn. Richly detailed, meticulously researched and beautifully written, this is the unlikely true story of the man behind one of the greatest books in literature." --Tucson Citizen "Triumphant...Reiss directs a full-scale production that jangles with drawn sabers, trembles wshow more

About Tom Reiss

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 more

Table of contents

prologue, part 1 • February 26, 1806   prologue, part 2 • January 25, 2007     book one chapter 1 • The Sugar Factory   chapter 2 • The Black Code   chapter 3 • Norman Conquest   chapter 4 • “No One Is a Slave in France”  chapter 5 • Americans in Paris   chapter 6 • Black Count in the City of Light   chapter 7 • A Queen’s Dragoon     book two chapter 8 • Summers of Revolution    chapter 9 • “Regeneration by Blood”    chapter 10 • “The Black Heart Also Beats for Liberty”    chapter 11 • “Mr. Humanity”    chapter 12 • The Battle for the Top of the World    chapter 13 • The Bottom of the Revolution    chapter 14 • The Siege    chapter 15 • The Black Devil      book three chapter 16 • Leader of the Expedition    chapter 17 •  “ The Delirium of His     Republicanism”    chapter 18 • Dreams on Fire    chapter 19 • Prisoner of the Holy Faith Army    chapter 20 • “ Citizeness Dumas . . . Is Worried     About the Fate of Her Husband”    chapter 21 • The Dungeon    chapter 22 • Wait and Hope    epilogue • The Forgotten Statue    Acknowledgments    Author’s Note on Names    Notes    Bibliography    Indexshow more