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Black Sugar

A Novel
  • Also available as: E-Book, Dust Jacket Hardcover
  • Published: May 2004
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 562
  • Size: 5.5x8.5
  • ISBN: 9781413431124

Ira Brown Harkey’s Black Sugar is an unusual novel set in history, based on the surviving facts of the life of one of the South’s most dynamic businessmen in the 19th and 20th centuries, General Jean (John) Baptiste Levert. General Levert’s story is told through the actual people who helped make it happen – his parents, children and grandchildren, descendants of his brothers and life-long friends, house servants, business associates and their descendants, detractors and admirers alike. Drawing on previously unknown material – including the General’s correspondence and business records and letters and scrapbooks in possession of his descendants, along with stories passed down by generations of the Levert family – Harkey serves up a gumbo with the right ingredients for a delicious character study of a complicated man from birth to death – his youth, schooling, Civil War experiences, Reconstruction troubles, business career, and relationships with his large family, business partners, servants, and women: A man who rose from a plantation in Louisiana sugarcane country to a pinnacle of success and fortune in post-Civil War New Orleans, to found an empire that thrives today; whose bravura and identity as a patriarch, southern gentleman, risk-taker, robber baron, and mythic lover, were surpassed only by his business genius, by his power in growing sugar, marketing, land development, and plantation ownership, each an integral component of New Orleans and Louisiana economy and history.

With keen insight and intimacy, Harkey captures the passions and obsessions that consumed General Levert, the fierce devotions and ego that fired his imagination and propelled him to succeed at all costs: He set out after the Civil War to build his fortune, letting nothing stand in his way, until an unexpected, unlikely event late in his life. Harkey gives us detailed drama of the General’s childhood on a sugar plantation; of his often ruthless, high-pressure business practice and conduct; of his love for his wife; of his prominence in New Orleans civic, financial and social life; and of the almost vengeful determination with which he cast himself as a money-hungry figure that gilded through elegant French Quarter restaurants, company board rooms, and plantation house parlors in search of the perfect business deal. Here also is a look at the sugar industry and the business of growing and manufacturing sugar in Louisiana from its earliest days – beginning before the Civil War.

Buy This Book

Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
Price: $26.99
E-Book
Price: $9.99
Dust Jacket Hardcover(B/W)
Price: $36.99

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