Cocktail Party honoring “The Black Russian”


Vladimir Alexandrov

One of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 10 Books of 2013

One of Booklist’s Top 10 Biographies of 2013

Black russian pbkWe’re hosting a cocktail party to celebrate the release of the paperback edition of THE BLACK RUSSIAN by Vladimir Alexandrov on Thursday, April 17th from 6:00 to 8:00pm. THE BLACK RUSSIAN will be available for sale at the event and at the restaurant afterwards.
Called “[An] extraordinary story . . . [interpreted] with great sensitivity,” by The New York Review of Books, and praised by Booklist as one of their Top Ten Biographies of 2013, The San Francisco Chronicle (also a Top Ten book of 2013), The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Daily Beast and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Cornel West, among others, THE BLACK RUSSIAN is the incredible true story of Frederick Bruce Thomas, a son of former slaves who pursued a dream of freedom, wealth, and happiness that took him across Europe in the early twentieth century.
After his father, a former slave who had become a prosperous farmer in Mississippi, was brutally murdered in 1890, Frederick left the South and worked as a waiter in Chicago and Brooklyn. Seeking greater freedom, he traveled to London, then crisscrossed Europe and – in a highly unusual choice for a black American at the time – went to Russia. Finding no color line there, Frederick settled in Moscow, becoming a rich and famous owner of variety theaters and restaurants. When the Bolshevik Revolution arrived in 1917, he fled to Constantinople, where he made another fortune by opening nightclubs as the “Sultan of Jazz.” Read More>>

“[A] prodigiously descriptive, fluently analytical, and altogether astonishing work of resurrection.”

Booklist, starred review

“[A] gracefully written feat of historical sleuthing . . . Through prodigious archival research, historical scholarship and painstaking reconstruction of secondhand accounts, [Alexandrov] has drawn a moving and vivid portrait of a remarkable American life.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“[An] extraordinary story . . . [interpreted] with great sensitivity.”

The New York Review of Books

“An amazing story . . . Thomas’ improvisational life . . . filled me with wonder and sadness. . .Alexandrov has done a remarkable job piecing together the puzzle of Thomas’ life . . . his story staggered me.”

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The Root 

“With so much focus on the black experience in America in the nineteenth century, we might never consider the black experience in Europe at the same time. Vladimir Alexandrov’s The Black Russian rectifies this oversight, and does so with panache.”

The Daily Beast