A fresh reassessment of one of the most powerful black men in American history. This book will help reshape the prism through which the life, work, strategy, and contributions of Booker T. Washington are examined.--David H. Jackson Jr., author of A Chief Lieutenant of the Tuskegee Machine. ""Although scholars and lay persons alike most often think of Washington as an educator, this impressive text reveals that his business ideas and practices have had a much greater and longer impact on Americans, especially African Americans.""--Kenneth Hamilton, Southern Methodist University. Michael Boston offers a radical departure from other interpretations of Booker T. Washington by focusing on the latter's business ideas and practices. More specifically, Boston examines Washington as an entrepreneur, spelling out his business philosophy at great length and discussing the influence it had on black America. He analyzes the national and regional economies in which Washington worked and focuses on his advocacy of black business development as the key to economic uplift for African Americans. The result is a revisionist book that responds to the skewed literature on Washington even as it offers a new framework for understanding him. Based upon a deep reading of the Tuskegee archives, it acknowledges Washington not only as a champion of black business development but one who conceived and implemented successful strategies to promote it as well.