Total Pageviews

Monday, July 18, 2016

White Trash

As Lyndon B. Johnson once observed, "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

'White Trash': A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold

New book shows how America's class and race attitudes were shaped in the country's earliest days.

  • White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
  • Nancy Isenberg
  • Viking (2016)
This is a big, important and very angry book. Its enormous documentation makes
it inarguable above the level of "Oh, yeah?" It will make readers in the U.S. especially angry, because it throws out the received wisdom of American egalitarianism and democracy, showing their 21st century country to be the creation of 16th century English social engineers.

Perhaps most disturbingly, Nancy Isenberg's White Trash shows how those engineers created the culture in which American classes and races come into endless conflict -- right up to recent police shootings of black men, and the deaths of five Dallas police officers.
Isenberg, a professor at Louisiana State University, makes a persuasive case that 16th century England saw North America not as a source of wealth like Mexico and Peru, but as a dump. Colonization advocates like Richard Hakluytproposed exporting petty criminals, prostitutes and those who were simply poor, just to get them out of the way.

Read More:

No comments:

Post a Comment