The Butler: A Witness to History (Hardcover)
From Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities fellow Wil Haygood comes a mesmerizing inquiry into the life of Eugene Allen, the butler who ignited a nation's imagination and inspired a major motion picture: "Lee Daniels' The Butler, " the highly anticipated film that stars six Oscar winners, including Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey (honorary and nominee), Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Redgrave, and Robin Williams; as well as Oscar nominee Terrence Howard, Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Lenny Kravitz, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Alan Rickman, and Liev Schreiber.
With a foreword by the Academy Award nominated director Lee Daniels, "The Butler "not only explores Allen's life and service to eight American Presidents, from Truman to Reagan, but also includes an essay, in the vein of James Baldwin's jewel "The Devil Finds Work," that explores the history of black images on celluloid and in Hollywood, and fifty-seven pictures of Eugene Allen, his family, the presidents he served, and the remarkable cast of the movie.
About the Author
A Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities fellow and a writer for the "Washington Post", Wil Haygood has been described as a cultural historian. He is the author of a trio of iconic biographies. His "King of the Cats: The Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., " told the story of the enigmatic New York congressman and was named a "New York Times" Notable Book of the Year. That was followed--after publication of a family memoir--by "In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr., " which was awarded the ASCAP Deems Taylor Music Biography Award, the Zora Neale Hurston-Richard Wright Legacy Award, and the Nonfiction Book of the Year Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. In 2009, he wrote "Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson", which told the story of the famed New York pugilist known as much for his prowess in the ring as his elegant style outside of it. Haygood is an associate producer of "Lee Daniels' The Butler".
Lee Daniels was until 2005 the editor of the National Urban League's public-policy journal "The State of Black America," He was for twenty years a reporter for "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post," Born in Boston, he now lives in New York City.