My rating:3 of 5 stars
From Library Journal
The life and times of one remarkable woman encompasses Behind the Scenes. Keckley’s first 30 years were spent as a slave, and the cruelties and injustices of her life are related clearly and succinctly. This enlightening memoir recounts how she was beaten and how she became a dressmaker to support her master and his family, how determined she was to purchase freedom for herself and her son, how her friends in St. Louis came to her aid, how she became Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker and close friend, and her perspectives and experiences from her inside view of Lincoln’s White House. Keckley emerges as a calm and confident person who speaks of a very tumultuous period of American history. Reader Ameria Jones does a superb job, reading with a clear, strong voice. The musical performances are provided by David Hab. Recommended.?Denise A. Garofalo, Mid-Hudson Lib. System, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Keckley provides a contrast between her life as a slave and her life as freed dressmaker. From her early years to her later friendship with Mary Todd Lincoln, Keckley’s life is the pattern of a self-made woman as she buys her own freedom and becomes a friend to one of the most influential couples in history.” — Civil War “[Keckley’s] unusual memoir offers a rare view of the formal and informal networks that African Americans established among themselves, as well as an intimate perspective of the Lincoln family… Heavily illustrated with eighty-six photographs.” — Documentary Editing “Lizzie Keckley in those Civil War years was privy to the most intimate conversations of the White House living quarters. You will never find a life of Abraham Lincoln in which her remembrances are not extensively quoted.” — Gene Smith, American Legacy –This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.