Book Cover Image of The Butler: A Witness to History by Wil Haygood

The Butler: A Witness to History
by Wil Haygood

Publication Date: Jul 30, 2013
List Price: $18.00
Format: Hardcover, 112 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9781476752990
Imprint: Atria / 37 Ink
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation

Hardcover Description:

Read a review of Lee Daniel’s film made from this book.

The book is brief, but the two sections and many images of Allen’s quietly extraordinary life speak volumes about a nation struggling, and succeeding by degrees, to come to terms with an ignominious history of racial inequality. Poignant and powerful.” —Kirkus Reviews

Eugene Allen, 89, who worked under eight presidents from 1952 to 1986, tries on his old White House uniform last week for a photographer. (Kevin Clark — The Washington Post)
Photo of Eugene Allen (then 89) from Haywood’s 11/7/08 Washingt Post article (photo Kevin Clark)

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.

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