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The Man

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,408 ratings  ·  88 reviews
The time is 1964. The place is the Cabinet Room of the White House. An unexpected accident and the law of succession have just made Douglass Dilman the first black President of the United States.

This is the theme of what was surely one of the most provocative novels of the 1960s. It takes the reader into the storm center of the presidency, where Dilman, until now an almost
Paperback, 768 pages
Published December 1st 1999 by iBooks (first published January 1st 1964)
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Mark Duncan It's just you, because apparently you didn't read the book description. The only similarity is that they are both the first black President. That's it…moreIt's just you, because apparently you didn't read the book description. The only similarity is that they are both the first black President. That's it. In this novel the President, Vice President, and Speaker of the House are killed in a building collapse in Europe. The next person in the line of succession is the President Pro Tempore of the senate. In the novel, that is a black man. He had never aspired to be President, but he is appointed because the first three are dead and he happened to be next in line. Obama ran for President because he wanted the job and was elected the old-fashioned way, winning both the popular vote and the electoral-college vote. So, no, it isn't even "kinda" Obama's story.(less)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,408 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Mar 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
I decided to read this book after learning of it when Colin Powell was thinking about running for President. Obtaining a copy proved to be a challenge in itself (this must have been before I was internet savvy), but after searching in a number of bookstores and libraries I finally found one in The Strand. With the book finally in my possession would it end up being worth my effort to obtain it? Fortunately it lived up to the hype. Now that Barack Obama is running for President this compelling no ...more
Nov 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Man by Irving Wallace is my dad’s recommendation. The by line of the book said, ” You are cordially invited to the Impeachment Trial of America’s First Black President” I was hooked and by the end of the book,was totally floored.

This book published in 1964 , talked about a black president and also a impeachment trial . Looks as if Wallace prophesied future , because a impeachment trial was held for a president 35 years later but for nearly same reasons as depicted in the book..

The book is ce
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, politics
The novel is one of the finest novels I've ever read. It's about the first Afro-American who happened and/or accidentally became the president of the United States of America. Though, the novel was written almost five decades ago, its relevance is timeless. It's always true that liberty is the only thing you can not have, unless you are willing to give it to others. I hope Barack Obama read the novel.
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The rascism continues today in the anti Obama media and books. There are still far too many Americans who have not left their bigotry behind them.
Russell J. Sanders
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In the 1960s, when I first discovered the works of writer Irving Wallace, I was thoroughly entranced. But I also felt that he was one of those best-selling novelists who could tell a good story but would never be among the great authors, the literary giants. Oh, how wrong I was. Flash to over fifty years later, and I have re-read two of his works, The Word and The Man. I found The Word to be a painstakingly researched, very topical novel even after having been written so long ago. But The Man? I ...more
A Man Called Ove
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
On my visits to the library, I had noticed that there is a shelf that contains Irving Wallace books printed on coarse recycled paper. His wikipedia page gave me the impression that he wrote pulp fiction - sort of Sidney Sheldon or Harold Robbins.
In this book, a "negro" (as the term has been used in those politically incorrect days) becomes the unelected President of the United States due to circumstances. I remember reading that both Obama (race) and Julia Gillard (gender, Australian PM) had to
Nov 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is from the 1970s. I read it the first time it was out. I just got the Readers Digest version and read it again. This book was quite well written and was not received well at all when it was released. The story is about a black man who becomes President of the US. All the people are against him and he has many problems with his presidency. It is a very good book and I hope that Obama has read it! I would recommend it so everyone.
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Sheila by: myself
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Theophilus (Theo)
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Way, way back, before Barack Obama, there was Douglas Dillman. An African American senator becomes president after several catastrophic events. What will the United States do? Takes place in the late sixties or early seventies. Militant black activists, Southern Dixiecrats, secret pacts within the American government, even secrets within his own family attempt to influence and even remove Douglas Dillman from the white house. Will he perservere? Will the American people accept an African America ...more
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What a difficult time I had getting this BOOK,it's out of print_which made me want it more!Finally,from!Reading a couple of other bks now_can't wait to get started on this one!

UPDATE! Completed this book_BUT wanted to read it all over again..probably will...yes it was that good.

The thing is for Irving Wallace to have such insight in "1964"(when published)to write about what an African-American was likely to face while serving as President_is amazing!

For it to be EXACTLY what current P
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Best book I ever read. I've read it four or five times and will read it again soon. ...more
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it

What an interesting book! It was #5 on the 1964 bestseller list and is an alternate history political novel.

The time is a bit in the future for 1964, post JFK and LBJ, when an unexpected accident kills the current fictional POTUS. The Vice President had died 10 days earlier of a massive coronary. The Speaker of the House died in the same accident that killed the President. So, according to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, the next in line for President was President Pro Tempore of the S
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was long and some of the legal snippets were more lengthy than what my attention span could hold onto, but I really enjoyed the book. Mr. Wallace was way before his time in writing such a forward thinking story.
Narayanan  Kanagarajan
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Man by Irving Wallace (1965)

The subjugation, discrimination and segregation of the Blacks by the Whites defies logic and natural justice. Is the pigmentation the fault of a human being? The intensity of this disdain of the Whites towards the Negroes was felt, of all the countries in the planet of the earth, more in America and South Africa, the southernmost country of African continent - ‘the Dark Continent’ - as was taught in history books- over generations. The intensity was prevalent upto
Nov 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Laurie by: my dad
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Justin George
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book surprised me with its way of presenting the facts. Dealing a sensitive issue practised by our forefathers from the beginning of civilised life, whose stubs still active in human hearts as mild dissentient based on body colour. Through the thoughts of two African American characters Dilman and Nat, Wallace derive the intensity of indignation once existed based on something a person was not at all responsible, but dependent on his genome.

While observing our society which still has demarc
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED this book! I am not American and only had a vague idea of the race issues the country faced, and still does. However, I have always loved reading Irving Wallace from the time when I was a teenager and was introduced to the idea of reading fiction with his 'The Word'. It was the first 'adult novel' I ever read in my life and I was totally smitten with it. Since then, my love affair with this author has continued. I was surprised when I found 'The Man' at my library. I had never ...more
Sep 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: black-thriller
This book was so compelling, I could not put it down. I was stationed at Wheelus Air Force base at the time and fortunately I had the next day off because I did not finish it until about 3 am.
I had to buy a second copy for myself because after I started telling my homies (east coast brothers) about it was passed around like crazy.
James Earl Jones did a very grand job with the movie, which was pretty close to the book. The first Black President and all the mess he had to deal with. A beligeren
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Interesting premise, especially considering the era it was written in, but the overall style of the book is exceptionally dated. It reads like an Allen Drury-style Washington manners novel, with all the unrealistic and self-serving excessive dialogue and one-dimensional characters that implies. At about 750 pages, I had to fight myself not to quit between pp 200-350; the last 200 pages I skimmed dialogue looking for plot points. By the time I finished, closing the book brought on a feeling of re ...more
Linda Clifford
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a book which I read as a senior in high school in 1966, not because it was required, but because my mother told me about it and I wanted to read it. Irving Wallace, in this book, was decades ahead of his time, giving us a clear picture of the problems an African-American man might encounter if suddenly thrust into the highest office in the land, due to a freak accident and a quirk of fate.
Sivaramaprasad Kappagantu
What the author wrote some decades back, has come into reality in US. A black has become President. But the write was proved wrong in one way-Obama became President on his own and not by death of others above him.

However, the book is superbly written and especially the impeachment scenes were like a picture before the reader's eyes.
Lynnette Kunkle
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Ironically reading this just as the first black President was elected.
Dec 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Very interesting read at this point in our history
Long before Obama, there was this black President. Great read!
Mar 26, 2009 added it
Interesting read. Its about the first African American president, but it was written years ago before anyone ever thought that it was a real possibility.

Alex Mueck
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Way ahead of its time. Wallace does a great job detailing the political climate in the 1960's as America is accidentally gifted a black President. Powerful ...more
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it
typical wallace novel... read on a recommendation...wasn't disappointed ...more
Douglas Dilman, a black U.S. Senator, by circumstances and a freak accident, becomes president of the United States in this book written in the early 1960's. It is interesting to note that I could not find a copy of this book in either the public library system of East Baton Rouge or Livingston Parish (in South Louisiana) and had to find a used copy online... ...more
Bruce Deming
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
The story seems a bit dated now but makes some valid points such as indicated by the title itself.

I have not read the story completely, though I did read a major portion to try to pick up the direction and plot and points trying to be made by the author.
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Irving Wallace was an American bestselling author and screenwriter. His extensively researched books included such page-turners as The Chapman Report (1960), about human sexuality; The Prize (1962), a fictional behind-the-scenes account of the Nobel Prizes; The Man, about a black man becoming president of the U.S. in the 1960s; and The Word (1972), about the discovery of a new gospel.

Wallace was b

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