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Colonel's Dream

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By: (1858-1932)

Colonel's Dream by Charles Waddell Chesnutt is a thought-provoking novel that explores themes of race, identity, and social justice in post-Civil War America. The story follows the character of Colonel French, a wealthy white landowner in North Carolina who becomes disillusioned with the racist attitudes of his fellow white citizens and decides to leave his estate to his mixed-race, illegitimate son.

Chesnutt skillfully weaves together complex characters and moral dilemmas to create a compelling narrative that challenges readers to confront their own assumptions and biases. The novel addresses important social issues such as racial hierarchy, discrimination, and the legacy of slavery, all within the framework of a captivating and engaging story.

Colonel's Dream is a powerful and timely novel that continues to resonate with readers today. Chesnutt's insightful exploration of race and privilege is as relevant now as it was when the book was first published in 1905. This novel is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of race relations in America and the enduring impact of historical injustices.

Book Description:
In this novel, Chesnutt described the hopelessness of Reconstruction in a post-Civil War South that was bent on reestablishing the former status quo and rebuilding itself as a region of the United States where new forms of "slavery" would replace the old. This novel illustrated how race hatred and the impotence of a reluctant Federal Government trumped the rule of law, ultimately setting the stage for the rise of institutions such as Jim Crow, lynching, chain gangs and work farms--all established with the intent of disenfranchising African Americans.

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