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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 Editors’ Choice.
Amazon: Best Books of 2019 So Far (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


“What might the 19th century tell us about ourselves?”

Thanks to @uofmemphis Prof. Aram Goudsouzian for his thought-provoking questions, and to @HumanitiesTN’s @chapter16 for the opportunity to discuss SEPARATE in advance of the @SoFestofBooks. Read the full interview here:

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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, was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice, as well as a Best Book of the Month by both Amazon and Goodreads. It won the J. Anthony Lukas Award for excellence in nonfiction.