RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewIn her brilliantly researched The Original Black Elite, Elizabeth Dowling Taylor recounts the rise of African-Americans during the time of Reconstruction and their fall during the subsequent decades, when legislation was advanced in order to again segregate, impoverish and humiliate a population that many whites believed had gained too much ... Despite an initial picture that suggests Murray embraced clichés of racial tranquillity, Taylor makes clear throughout her book that Murray and most of his black elite friends 'did not crave the company of white people.' Taylor understands the mind-set of the black elite, and she quickly points out that despite his own rise to the top, 'Daniel Murray was "a race man to the core"' ... Taylor knows how to weave an emotional story of how race and class have long played a role in determining who succeeds and who fails. We get to meet many of Murray’s friends and acquaintances, other members of the black elite ... But the reader shouldn’t expect a happy ending in The Original Black Elite. The rug of opportunity and dignity was abruptly pulled out from under the nation’s African-American population.