Passing Strange by Martha A. Sandweiss tells the story of Clarence King, a Yale-educated geologist and explorer of the American West during the post-Civil War era. Jaunty, charming, and a favorite by New York's social elite, King was considered an privileged dinner companion, and an entertaining and suitable bachelor. After his death, it was discovered King had a black wife and five children living in Brooklyn. Social pressures and racial pressures forced King to build a complex double life and false identity. Sandweiss divulges this unknown side of King with a likable flair reinforced by comprehensive research.