cover image The Butler: A Witness to History

The Butler: A Witness to History

Wil Haygood, read by David Oyelowo, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, and Lee Daniels. Simon & Schuster Audio, unabridged, two CDs, 2.5 hrs., $14.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-6895-8

A companion to Lee Daniel’s recent film, The Butler, Haygood provides a history of Eugene Allen in his role as butler to eight U.S. presidents. Coupled with this is Haygood’s account of how the original Washington Post article about Allen turned into a movie with an all-star cast. This audio edition features a skilled group of narrators—all with significant roles in the film. Forest Whitaker carries the weight of the production, providing voices for Haygood—the reporter who originally pursued the story—and Allen. Whitaker’s pacing easily keeps listener attention, and his tone, emphasis, and timing flesh out the characters. Winfrey and Oyelowo, both of who provide strong and clear narration, read additional essays. An Atria/37 Ink hardcover. (Aug.)