Luminous Traitor: The Just and Daring Life of Roger Casement (Biographical Novel)

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Roger Casement was an internationally renowned figure at the beginning of the 20th century, famous for exposing the widespread atrocities against the indigenous people in King Leopold's Congo and his subsequent exposure—for which he was knighted in 1911—of the brutal conditions of enslaved labor in Peru.

An Irish nationalist of profound conviction, he attempted, at the outbreak of World War I, to obtain German support and weapons for an armed rebellion against British rule. Apprehended and convicted of treason in a notorious trial that captured worldwide attention, Casement was sentenced to die on the gallows. A powerful petition drive for the commutation of his sentence was inaugurated by George Bernard Shaw and a host of other influential figures.

A gay man, Casement kept detailed diaries of his sexual escapades, and the British government, upon discovering the diaries, circulated its pages to public figures, thereby crippling what had been a mounting petition for clemency. In 1916, he was hanged. In this gripping reimagining, acclaimed historian Martin Duberman paints a full portrait of the man for the first time. Tracing his evolution from servant of the empire to his work as a humanitarian activist and anti-imperialist, Duberman resurrects and recognizes all facets—from the professional to the personal—of the fantastic life of this pioneer for human rights. 

Author: Martin Duberman

Hardback  Published November 2018  288 pages

"Martin Duberman is a national treasure."—Masha Gessen, The New Yorker

"Duberman calls his book a biographical novel, though it is more biography of the real-life Casement than novel. But, in either case, it is a painstaking, sympathetic portrait of a celebrated humanitarian. The result is both a political history and also an examination of the history of homosexuality. It is valuable on both counts."Booklist

"...a deeply informed biographical novel, skillfully told in present tense, that brings [a] lesser-known historical era and its principal actors to light."The Bay Area Reporter

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