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Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster
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Henry Holt and Co. 2018
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Description

The bestselling author delves into his past and discovers the inspiring story of his grandmother's extraordinary life

She was black and a woman and a prosecutor, a graduate of Smith College and the granddaughter of slaves, as dazzlingly unlikely a combination as one could imagine in New York of the 1930s—and without the strategy she devised, Lucky Luciano, the most powerful Mafia boss in history, would never have been convicted. When special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey selected twenty lawyers to help him clean up the city's underworld, she was the only member of his team who was not a white male.

Eunice Hunton Carter, Stephen Carter's grandmother, was raised in a world of stultifying expectations about race and gender, yet by the 1940s, her professional and political successes had made her one of the most famous black women in America. But her triumphs were shadowed by prejudice and tragedy. Greatly complicating her rise was her difficult relationship with her younger brother, Alphaeus, an avowed Communist who—together with his friend Dashiell Hammett—would go to prison during the McCarthy era. Yet she remained unbowed.

Moving, haunting, and as fast-paced as a novel, Invisible tells the true story of a woman who often found her path blocked by the social and political expectations of her time. But Eunice Carter never accepted defeat, and thanks to her grandson's remarkable book, her long forgotten story is once again visible.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/09/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250121981
ASIN:
B07BVNV45D
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Stephen L. Carter. (2018). Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster. Henry Holt and Co.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Stephen L. Carter. 2018. Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster. Henry Holt and Co.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Stephen L. Carter, Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster. Henry Holt and Co, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Stephen L. Carter. Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster. Henry Holt and Co, 2018. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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      • bioText: Stephen L. Carter is the bestselling author of several novels—including The Emperor of Ocean Park and New England White—and over half a dozen works of non-fiction. Formerly a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, he is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, where he has taught for more than thirty years. He and his wife live in Connecticut.
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shortDescription

The bestselling author delves into his past and retrieves the inspiring story of his grandmother's extraordinary life

She was brilliant, ambitious, and unafraid to break barriers. As the only member of a squad of twenty high-powered lawyers who was not a white male, she devised the strategy that in the 1930s sent Mafia chieftan Lucky Luciano to prison. She achieved so much—but what could she have accomplished if not for barriers of race and gender?

Eunice Hunton Carter, Stephen Carter's grandmother, was the daughter of a distinguished African American couple and the granddaughter of slaves. A graduate of Smith College and Fordham Law School, she became a key member of the legal team charged with breaking up organized crime in New York City. By the 1940s, she was one of the most famous black women in America. But at every turn, Eunice encountered prejudice, and her triumphs were shadowed by tragedy. Greatly complicating her rise was her...

isOwnedByCollections
True
title
Invisible
fullDescription

The bestselling author delves into his past and discovers the inspiring story of his grandmother's extraordinary life

She was black and a woman and a prosecutor, a graduate of Smith College and the granddaughter of slaves, as dazzlingly unlikely a combination as one could imagine in New York of the 1930s—and without the strategy she devised, Lucky Luciano, the most powerful Mafia boss in history, would never have been convicted. When special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey selected twenty lawyers to help him clean up the city's underworld, she was the only member of his team who was not a white male.


Eunice Hunton Carter, Stephen Carter's grandmother, was raised in a world of stultifying expectations about race and gender, yet by the 1940s, her professional and political successes had made her one of the most famous black women in America. But her triumphs were shadowed by prejudice and tragedy. Greatly complicating her rise was her difficult relationship with her younger brother, Alphaeus, an avowed Communist who—together with his friend Dashiell Hammett—would go to prison during the McCarthy era. Yet she remained unbowed.


Moving, haunting, and as fast-paced as a novel, Invisible tells the true story of a woman who often found her path blocked by the social and political expectations of her time. But Eunice Carter never accepted defeat, and thanks to her grandson's remarkable book, her long forgotten story is once again visible.

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Invisible The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down Americas Most Powerful Mobster
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content:

        A 2019 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Nominee

        "A vivid portrait of a remarkable woman."

      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal (starred review)
      • content: "With artful storytelling and a narrative-like delivery, Carter tells Eunice's story in the best way possible, offering a compelling, unputdownable read with as much value in social history as legal appeal. Not to be missed."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly (starred review)
      • content: "Carter's enthusiasm for his grandmother's incredible fortitude despite numerous setbacks is contagious; Eunice Carter's story is another hidden gem of African-American history."
      • premium: False
      • source: Sarah Weinman, The New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Invisible is not only a personal restoration project; it's the reclamation of a key figure in recent American history. . . . Stephen L. Carter has revived his grandmother's voice when we most need it, and with utmost urgency."
      • premium: False
      • source: The New Yorker
      • content: "[An] engaging biography. . . . [Eunice's] lifelong 'determination to rise' makes for a moving paean to female aspiration."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Washington Post
      • content: "Riveting . . . Remind[s] us of the deep paradoxes of segregation."
      • premium: False
      • source: National Book Review
      • content: "Just a few pages into this engaging, inspiring biography, one question unavoidably comes to mind: Who will play her in the film? ... His talent honed as a fiction writer (The Emperor of Ocean Park, among his novels), Carter brings to life the era when Eunice Carter faced formidable discrimination...forging ahead all the while to see that justice was done."
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 1, 2018
        An accomplished and determined woman transcended racial barriers to rise to prominence.Carter (Law/Yale Univ.; Back Channel: A Novel, etc.), former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, celebrates the life of his grandmother, Eunice Hunton Carter (1899-1970), who forged an astonishing legal career that included successfully prosecuting mobster Lucky Luciano. At the age of 8, Eunice told a young friend that she wanted to become a lawyer "to make sure the bad people went to jail." Two decades later, she acted on that desire. After graduating with degrees from Smith College, a married mother of a 2-year-old son enmeshed in the social whirl of upper-society Harlem, she realized that she was thoroughly bored. She enrolled at Fordham Law School, one of the few that admitted women and blacks, and earned a law degree in 1932. Two years later, the GOP tapped her to run for New York state assembly against the Democratic incumbent: "Black and female, conservative and brilliant, charming and charismatic," she seemed the perfect candidate. Although she lost that race, the campaign gave her visibility, and soon Mayor Fiorello La Guardia appointed her to a special commission to investigate rioting and unrest that had erupted in Harlem. Her career took off in 1935, when Special Prosecutor Thomas Dewey hired her to join his team investigating mob activities in New York. It was, writes Carter, "the job every young lawyer wanted." Eunice became Dewey's staunch supporter, campaigning for him when he ran for Manhattan district attorney, New York governor, and president against Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Yet he always picked others to fill important appointments. Nevertheless, Eunice's many social and political activities earned her widespread admiration. Carter places Eunice's experiences in the context of American culture, politics, and her own family: her activist mother; her defiant brother, whose Communist Party membership, Eunice believed, threatened her career; and her son (the author's father). Eunice could be imperious, "judgmental and often dismissive," impatient and aloof. Quitting, the author writes, "was not in her nature."A vivid portrait of a remarkable woman.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from August 27, 2018
        Bestseller Carter (Back Channel) narrates the life story of his exceptional grandmother, Eunice Carter, an African-American attorney who masterminded the sting operation that resulted in the imprisonment of mobster Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Eunice Carter graduated from Smith College cum laude with a bachelor’s and master’s in just four years, and went on to attend Fordham Law before being employed by the future governor of New York and Republican presidential nominee Thomas Dewey. Working under Dewey, Eunice spearheaded the investigation that proved the mob was running New York City’s brothels and helped flip the witnesses that specified Luciano’s involvement. For years after, however, Dewey repeatedly passed her over when making appointments. The author provides fascinating analysis on this time in history in which most African-Americans moved from voting Republican to Democrat, leaving conservatives like his grandmother and Dewey out in the cold. Carter also provides background on Eunice’s parents, both renowned African-American rights activists; explores her tense relationship with her brother, whose Communist ties very likely hindered her success; and discusses her less-than-ideal marriage. And he evokes her Harlem, where “women wore fancy hats. Men wore colorful suits.... In the clubs, jazz combos played... the rising black bourgeoisie flourished.” Carter’s enthusiasm for his grandmother’s incredible fortitude despite numerous setbacks is contagious; Eunice Carter’s story is another hidden gem of African-American history. Photos.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2018
        The mid-twentieth century was a fascinating period in African American history, when intellectual giants and social pioneers like Mary McLeod Bethune, W. E. B. DuBois, and Paul Robeson interacted with presidents and power brokers and the great Negro Club movement held sway over African American society. Eunice Carter, best-selling crime-writer Stephen L. Carter's grandmother, was a leading figure in this milieu: one of a tiny handful of female African American lawyers, she was connected professionally and socially with the most influential people of the day. As a member of the National Council of Negro Women and the NAACP, and an early observer at the United Nations, she, along with her family, were closely involved in key issues and political events. As a prot�g� of New York district attorney Thomas E. Dewey, she conceived of the strategy for indicting Lucky Luciano. Oddly enough, though she is the central figure, Eunice is not the book's most interesting character. Carter connects her failure to achieve lasting fame to her brother, Alphaeus, who was jailed during the Red Scare and whose unpardonable crimes included organizing black voter-registration drives and attacking the Republican Party. There is an intriguing story to be told about African American political divisions, the burgeoning civil rights movement, and Alphaeus' role in the fight against racism, colonialism, and McCarthyism. One hopes Carter will explore those subjects in his next book.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from September 1, 2018

        In the same vein as best sellers such as Liza Mundy's Code Girls and Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures, this new work from Carter (The Emperor of Ocean Park) presents the untold story of his grandmother Eunice Hunton Carter, the black female lawyer who prosecuted notorious mobster Lucky Luciano. The author begins with Eunice's childhood in Atlanta and later Brooklyn. Her mother served in World War I and was active with the YWCA and NAACP, and her father was secretary of the YMCA. After graduating from Smith College and marrying Lisle Carter, Eunice made her way toward a legal career, working under prosecutor Thomas Dewey and then-New York City mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Despite existing social and gender norms, Eunice's hard work turned into an opportunity to join Dewey's team dedicated to taking down Mafia figures. VERDICT With artful storytelling and a narrative-like delivery, Carter tells Eunice's story in the best way possible, offering a compelling, unputdownable read with as much value in social history as legal appeal. Not to be missed. [See Prepub Alert, 4/23/18.]--Mattie Cook, Flat River Community Lib., MI

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 1, 2018

        The granddaughter of slaves and a graduate of Fordham Law School, Eunice Hunton Carter was among America's most famous African American women by the 1940s for her work on a legal team challenging organized crime in New York City. Best-selling author Carter, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, brings us up to speed on his grandmother.

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster
popularity
890
publisher
Henry Holt and Co.
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