by Charles P Henry
Activist, international statesman, reluctant black leader, scholar, icon, father and husband, Ralph Bunche is one of the more complicated and fascinating figures in the history of twentieth-century America. For nearly a decade, he was the most celebrated contemporary African American both domestically and abroad. Today he is virtually forgotten. Charles P. Henry's penetrating biography restores Bunche to his rightful place, recapturing the essence of Bunche's service to America and the world. Moreover, Henry ably demonstrates how Bunche's rise and tall as a public symbol tells us as much about America as it does about Bunche. His iconic status, like that of other prominent, mainstream black figures such as Colin Powell, required a constant struggle over the relative importance of his racial identity and his national identity. Henry's biography shines as both the recovered story of a classic American and as a case study in the racial politics of public service.
Hardcover: 299 pages