Between the eighteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, countless African Americans passed as white, leaving behind families and friends, roots and community. Stanford historian Allyson Hobbs describes this phenomenon as a chosen exile, a separation from one racial identity and the leap into another. This revelatory history of passing explores the possibilities and challenges that racial indeterminacy presented to men and women living in a country obsessed with racial distinctions. It also tells a tale of loss. A Chosen Exile won the 2015 Frederick Jackson Turner Award, which is given to a first scholarly book about American history, and the 2015 Lawrence W. Levine Award, for the best book in American cultural history.