A Maverick Novel* Inspired by a Maverick Man
“Conhaim draws on various elements of the classic Western … to tell a story inspired by his longtime fascination with the singer and activist Paul Robeson … Benjamin is a compelling, multilayered protagonist who moves beyond his Robeson inspiration … The prose is vivid and often dramatic, which makes for a memorable read … A well-developed and thoughtful novel of right and wrong in the Old West.”
*"Maverick" Medallion Winner
A Lost Giant, Reimagined
With his "maverick" historical novel, ALL MAN’S LAND, D. László Conhaim mounts a vigorous tribute to Paul Robeson—singer, actor, activist, lawyer, athlete, author. A renaissance man who for five decades sang and spoke to the world, today this titan of the 20th century is all but forgotten.
Mostly fiction, but combining elements of memoir and biography, the author rediscovers his own manuscript of thirty years ago that speaks volumes to today’s America.
It’s the story of Benjamin Neill, a former slave and decorated Civil War hero who rides into a frontier town with a sack of books, a gift for song, and a powerful message. Here is a modern take on the singing cowboy—only Benjamin Neill is as able with a spiritual as he is with a Hebrew chant. Those who don’t know him, fear him. Those who know him, fear him even more. By his trials, we will know him. All Man’s Land is a uniquely American story about the fight for racial and social justice—and its costs.
“Inspired by the music and life of Paul Robeson, D. László Conhaim’s
All Man’s Land … reminds the reader that the most unlikely of relationships can form even in spaces where they should not exist … Seeing the humanity in another person is a meaningful sub theme … We are battling, still, with many of the themes addressed in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed [it] … It is a book that should be read in classrooms and community book clubs. It is one to add to the discussion of race relations as this country should be All Man’s Land.”
—Christian Starr, ThyBlackMan.com
“A fictional tribute to renaissance man Paul Robeson, All Man's Land is a solid literary work … of social inspection, historical precedent, and cultural insights … readers will delight in a story that is far more literary and intellectual than the typical Western entertainment.”
—Midwest Book Review
"The exploration of a black-Jewish relationship in frontier times would seem challenge enough, but Conhaim blends this reality-based novel with a striking consideration of the overall prejudices and sentiments of the times, injecting fictional drama and embellishments into a kind of memoir that is absorbing and enlightening on many levels ... As Conhaim paints a portrait of David, a young man who prompts Neill to examine his own prejudices and purposes, readers receive a solid blend of frontier conflict and the evolution of challenging relationships ... All Man's Land returns to a world that has largely moved away from Western popular fiction and memories of Paul Robeson, but it lives on as a tribute to this powerful individual and resurrects a sense of his multifaceted talents while providing a social commentary on America's early years."
—Donovan's Bookshelf, August 2019
—Michael Searles, Roundup Magazine, Western Writers of America
"D. László Conhaim pens a tribute novella to Paul Robeson … Set in turn-of-the-century Wyoming, All Man’s Land personifies Robeson in the character Benjamin Neill—Civil War hero, a learned man, a masterful singer, a political progressive, a man of the people and a prophet—who comes to town to settle a score. Conhaim packs gunfights, villains, intrigue, mystery, plot twists, some romance and a happy ending into this vivid, entertaining read.”
"All Man’s Land was inspired by the great Paul Robeson … [whose] outspoken views on racism and communism … resulted in the revocation of his passport and effectively ended his international concert career. Conhaim transfers this story to the American West and incarnates Robeson in the fictitious Benjamin Neill, son of a slave, and a war veteran whose talent and courage parallel Robeson’s. Conhaim’s prose is spare but potent and the pages turn in the blink of an eye. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the great TV show “Deadwood” for the authenticity of his supporting players, but at its heart it is a story about freedom and values."