George S. Schuyler: Portrait of a Black Conservative is the first full biography of Schuyler and traces his transformation from a socialist to a conservative by examining his childhood, his career as a journalist and writer, his opinions about race and class, and his desire for professional notoriety.
The book is divided into three parts. Part I discusses Schuyler's early life prior to his arrival in Harlem and his becoming a writer for the Messenger, an African American socialist magazine edited by A. Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen. Part II chronicles his career as a journalist, novelist, satirist, and critic from the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s through World War II. Part III reviews his post-World War II career from the late 1940s until his death in 1977. While Schuyler's career took many turns, his writings reveal surprising continuities and the stamp of a true American iconoclast, not unlike his mentor and hero, H. L. Mencken.