Frederick Bruce Thomas is not a famous man. His life does not feature in the history books, it has not been translated to film or stage. And yet, in his own way, Frederick Thomas is one of the most remarkable characters of the twentieth century.
After the brutal murder of his father, Thomas fled his home for Europe. Through his own ingenuity, he mastered the languages and cultures that he found there, moving from London to Monte Carlo before settling in the imperial decadence of pre-revolution Moscow. There against a backdrop of European war, Thomas became a rich and respected member of the bourgeoisie, married, became a millionaire through bootleg vodka, remarried, gave up his American citizenship and fled in penury before the bloody October Revolution.
All of this as the third son of former slaves.