John Williams

Captain Blackman

A “fascinating novel” of race and war in historical US conflicts—through the eyes of a black soldier inexplicably traveling through time (The New York Times Book Review).
In the midst of the racial tensions in the army during the Vietnam War, Capt. Abraham Blackman does what he can to educate his fellow black soldiers on the history of race relations in the US military. But when he is gravely wounded in the jungle of Southeast Asia, he finds himself inexplicably rocketed into those conflicts of the past.
From slavery to segregation, Blackman experiences firsthand the racism—from subtle and insidious discrimination to outright violence—of the American military’s past. Yet no matter the conflict, be it the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, or World War II, Blackman fights for a racist military establishment that expects black soldiers to die for the cause of “freedom”—even when they are denied it at home. Ultimately, Blackman’s greatest challenge will take place in his own time, in Vietnam, where he must battle not only to survive but for that most elusive of victories: justice.
This “necessary [and] boldly experimental” historical novel from the two-time American Book Award–winning author brilliantly explores the complicated legacy of the African American soldier throughout US history (The New York Times Book Review).
368 printed pages
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