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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Stephen L. Carter delves into his past and retrieves the inspiring story of his grandmother’s extraordinary life.

She was black and a woman and a prosecutor, a graduate of Smith College and the granddaughter of slaves, as dazzlingly unlikely a combination as one could imagine in New York of the 1930s - and without the strategy she devised, Lucky Luciano, the most powerful Mafia boss in history, would never have been convicted. When special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey selected 20 lawyers to help him clean up the city’s underworld, she was the only member of his team who was not a white male.  

Eunice Hunton Carter, Stephen Carter’s grandmother, was raised in a world of stultifying expectations about race and gender, yet by the 1940s, her professional and political successes had made her one of the most famous black women in America. But her triumphs were shadowed by prejudice and tragedy. Greatly complicating her rise was her difficult relationship with her younger brother, Alphaeus, an avowed Communist who - together with his friend Dashiell Hammett - would go to prison during the McCarthy era. Yet she remained unbowed.  

Moving, haunting, and as fast-paced as fiction, Invisible tells the true story of a woman who often found her path blocked by the social and political expectations of her time. But Eunice Carter never accepted defeat, and thanks to her grandson’s remarkable audiobook, her long forgotten story is once again visible.

©2018 Stephen L. Carter (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 10-31-18

A Moving Biography

Stephen L. Carter normally writes suspense novels about black lawyers. This book is his first into the realm of non-fiction. He is writing about his maternal grandmother.

I found this book about Eunice Roberta Hunton Carter (1899-1970) fascinating. Stephen tells what it was like to be an intelligent ambitious black female in the 1920s and 30s. The book opens with the story of the 1906 race riots in Atlanta, GA. Eunice and her family huddled in their house listening to the white mob coming closer and smelling the smoke from the fires as homes were burning. The family moved to New York after the riots. Eunice’s parents were highly educated and worked for the YMCA/YWCA and the NAACP.

I was amazed to learn that Eunice graduated from Smith University with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just four years. She married a black dentist and had a son. She then went to Fordham Law School. Eunice was the first black woman lawyer in New York and also the first black woman federal prosecutor in the country. She worked with Thomas Dewey (1902-1971) on his Organized Crime Task Force. She was key in bringing down Lucky Luciano. I found what she accomplished and the obstacles she had to overcome almost overwhelming. This is a book everyone one should read.

The book is twelve and a half hours. Karen Chilton does a good job narrating the book. She has the perfect voice for Eunice. Chilton is an actress and audiobook narrator.




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Amazing, beautiful and inspiring

Stephen L. Carter has long been one of my favorite writers since I first flipped the pages of the Emperor of Ocean Park. To now know his family history, I have an even deeper appreciation for his work. I have an obsession for genealogy and history and this book satisfies both. I congratulate him for remembering the amazing woman that was his grandmother and for once again placing her in her rightful place in American history and Black history in particular. In being as thoughtful in his writing, Ms Hunton Carter comes to life. I look forward to learning more about her and her brother, Alpheous.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful