Paperback publication:
February 4, 2020

A myth-shattering narrative from award-winning author Steve Luxenberg

Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court case synonymous with “separate but equal,” created remarkably little stir when the justices announced their decision on May 18, 1896. Yet it is one of the most compelling stories of the nineteenth century.

A New York Times Notable Book for 2019.
Amazon: Best Books of 2019 (History).
Winner, J. Anthony Lukas Award (excellence in nonfiction).
Longlisted, 2019 Cundill Prize (international award for history writing).
Goodreads: A Best Book of the Month (February, in History).

“Segregation is not one story but many. Luxenberg has written his with energy, elegance and a heart aching for a world without it.”

–James Goodman, The New York Times

“A brilliant milestone in understanding the history of race relations in America.”

–Bob Woodward, author of Fear: Trump in the White House

“Deeply moving, devastatingly relevant.”

–Katherine Boo, author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers


Opportunity knocks: Come to a great literary festival, @MontclairLitFes in New Jersey, without leaving home! Join us tomorrow, 9/12, for a Saturday morning discussion, 11 am. I’m excited to be on the same remote computer screen with @DionneFord & @HistorianCooper! Details below.

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Steve Luxenberg

Steve Luxenberg is a Washington Post associate editor and author of the award-winning Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret. His new 2019 book, Separate, has garnered several honors: The New York Times named it as one of 100 Notable Books for 2019 and designated it as an Editors’ Choice. Amazon selected it as one of the Best Books of 2019 for History. It was longlisted for the 2019 Cundill History Prize, an international award recognizing the best history writing in English. As a work in progress, it won the 2016 J. Anthony Lukas Prize for excellence in nonfiction.