Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster

Stephen L. Carter. Metropolitan, $30 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-12197-4
Bestseller Carter (Back Channel) narrates the life story of his exceptional grandmother, Eunice Carter, an African-American attorney who masterminded the sting operation that resulted in the imprisonment of mobster Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Eunice Carter graduated from Smith College cum laude with a bachelor’s and master’s in just four years, and went on to attend Fordham Law before being employed by the future governor of New York and Republican presidential nominee Thomas Dewey. Working under Dewey, Eunice spearheaded the investigation that proved the mob was running New York City’s brothels and helped flip the witnesses that specified Luciano’s involvement. For years after, however, Dewey repeatedly passed her over when making appointments. The author provides fascinating analysis on this time in history in which most African-Americans moved from voting Republican to Democrat, leaving conservatives like his grandmother and Dewey out in the cold. Carter also provides background on Eunice’s parents, both renowned African-American rights activists; explores her tense relationship with her brother, whose Communist ties very likely hindered her success; and discusses her less-than-ideal marriage. And he evokes her Harlem, where “women wore fancy hats. Men wore colorful suits.... In the clubs, jazz combos played... [and] the rising black bourgeoisie flourished.” Carter’s enthusiasm for his grandmother’s incredible fortitude despite numerous setbacks is contagious; Eunice Carter’s story is another hidden gem of African-American history. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2018
Release date: 10/10/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-8933-9
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-250-23066-9
Library Binding - 570 pages - 978-1-4328-6146-9
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