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White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (Paperback)
  • White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (Paperback)
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White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (Paperback)

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£11.99 £8.99
Paperback 496 Pages / Published: 02/11/2017
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In this landmark book, Nancy Isenberg argues that the voters who boosted Trump all the way to the White House have been a permanent part of the American fabric, and reveals how the wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlements to today's hillbillies.

Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery.

Reconstruction pitted white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics - a widely popular movement embraced by Theodore Roosevelt that targeted poor whites for sterilization.

These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society; they are now offered up as entertainment in reality TV shows, and the label is applied to celebrities ranging from Dolly Parton to Bill Clinton.

Marginalized as a class, white trash have always been at or near the centre of major political debates over the character of the American identity.

Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg upends assumptions about America's supposedly class-free society - where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility - and forces a nation to face the truth about the enduring, malevolent nature of class.

In her groundbreaking history of the class system in America, Nancy Isenberg takes on a nation's comforting myths about equality, uncovering the legacy of ever-present, always embarrassing - if occasionally entertaining - white trash.

Publisher: Atlantic Books
ISBN: 9781786493002
Number of pages: 496
Weight: 455 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 34 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
Masterly and ambitious * New York Times (Notable Book of the Year) *
A bracing surprise * Sunday Times *
A bracing reminder of the persistent contempt for the white underclass. * The Atlantic *
A gritty and sprawling assault on American mythmaking * Washington Post *
Are we supposed merely to laugh at the Spucklers? Or do we not secretly admire their backwoods morality and survivalism? It's one great measure of Isenberg's success that even after 450 detailed pages you keep looking for new examples and new questions... An important book. * The Herald *

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Reviews

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“A very useful addition to research in the area of class and race in America”

I purchased this book as a gift for a friend who is currently writing about the portrayal of whiteness in the literature of the Post Reconstruction South. She is very pleased with the book and has found it useful in... More

Hardback edition
12th June 2017
Helpful? Upvote 19

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