Between Reconstruction and Prohibition, Beale Street in Memphis thrived as a cauldron of sex and song, greed and race hatred a strip with unique soul that inspired folk legends, scandalized Faulkner, and reshaped American politics. Preston Lauterbach tells this thrilling story through the life of the South s first black millionaire, an ex-slave named Robert Church, who built an underworld dynasty in the booming river town. With a compromised fortune gleaned from brothels and gambling houses, Church and his son bankrolled the militant civil rights activism of Ida B. Wells, furnished the venues where W. C. Handy invented the blues, and built a powerful black political machine. Fighting to redeem themselves and their city, these vice kings clashed with the forces of Jim Crow to create a hotbed of black culture. Brilliantly researched and swiftly plotted, Beale Street Dynasty evokes a lost world of swaggering musicians, glamorous madams, and ruthless politicians on the fabled Memphis strip."